New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday said it would be a “disaster” if Covid-19 vaccines are administered, especially to children, without clinical trials and asked the Centre that it should take steps to quickly vaccinate kids of below 18 years of age once the trials are over as the whole nation is waiting for it.
The court was informed by the Centre that clinical trials for the vaccines for children under 18 years are going on and on the verge of completion and that a policy will be formed by the government and children will be vaccinated when experts give permission. “Let the trials be done, otherwise it would be a disaster if vaccines are administered without trials that too in case of children,” a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh observed.
“Once trials are over, you quickly apply to children. The whole country is waiting,” it added and listed the matter for further hearing on September 6. The HC was hearing a PIL filed on behalf of a minor which sought directions for the immediate vaccination of those in the 12-17 age group.
Additional solicitor general Chetan Sharma, representing the Centre, said pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila which is developing DNA vaccines has concluded its clinical trial for between the age group of 12 to 18 years of age and subject to the statutory permission, the same may be available in near future for children of the age group of 12 to 18 years of age.
The Centre, in the affidavit filed through standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, said vaccination is the top most priority of the government and all efforts are being made to achieve an objective of 100% vaccination in the shortest time possible keeping the available resources in mind and availability of vaccine doses into consideration.