A post circulating on social media platforms claim Covaxin, the home-grown COVID-19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech, has been approved for children above 12 years.
One such claim received by Newschecker on its Whatsapp tip line for verification reads, “Bharat Biotech’s (Made In India) Covaxin approved for children above 12 years.”
The same has been shared by multiple users on Twitter and Facebook.
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Fact Check / Verification
“India’s drug regulator has given Bharat Biotech the permission to conduct clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, on children between the age of 2 and 18, paving way for the first coronavirus inoculation to be tested in minors in the country,” reads a Hindustan Times report.
Covaxin’s fact sheet on Bharat Biotech’s website reiterates that the vaccine has been approved for “restricted use in emergency situation in individuals 18 years of age and older.”
MyGovIndia, Government of India’s citizen engagement platform, busted the claim that Covaxin has been approved for children, asking readers not to fall for rumours.
Press Information Bureau’s fact-check wing also clarified this claim via a tweet that reads, “This claim is #Fake. No such approval has been given by the Government of India. Currently, citizens above the age of 18 are eligible for #COVID19Vaccination”
Earlier this week, Covaxin was “recommended by an expert panel for phase II/III clinical trial on those aged between two to 18 years. The trial will take place in 525 subjects at various sites, including AIIMS, Delhi, AIIMS, Patna and Meditrina Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur,” reported the New Indian Express.
On May 1, India’s COVID-19 immunization programme entered its third phase by extending the eligibility criteria for anyone 18 years and above.
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute of India’s Coveshield are the two COVID-19 vaccines that were approved for emergency use in the country in January.
The third vaccine to be available in India for emergency use authorisation is Russia’s Sputnik V. The imported doses will cost Rs 995.40 per shot, said Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, the company’s partner in India.
“I’m happy to say that we’re hopeful that it’ll be available in the market next week. We’re hopeful that the sale of the limited supply that has come from there (Russia), will begin next week,” said Niti Aayog’s VK Paul via Mint.
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Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has not been approved for use on children above 12 years. It is in it’s trial stage for children.
Hindustan Times: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bharat-biotech-gets-approval-to-conduct-covaxin-clinical-trials-on-kids-101620803970878.html
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin fact sheet: https://www.bharatbiotech.com/images/covaxin/covaxin-factsheet.pdf
Press Information Bureau Fact-Check: https://twitter.com/PIBFactCheck/status/1391401992967245833?s=20
New Indian Express: https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/may/12/bharat-biotechs-covaxin-recommended-by-expert-panel-for-phase-ii–iiitrials-on-2-18-year-olds-2301376.html
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