“The safety and efficacy of the vaccine need to be established before being used on children. DNA-based vaccines being approved for children has been rare and hence more data needs to be collected.
The booster of DNA-based vaccines is usually protein-based. Bus as ZyCov-D is a three-dose vaccine, its effectiveness has to be found,” said senior virologist Dr Jacob John.
He added that the vaccine’s needle-free injection method (PharmaJet) would be useful to cut down biomedical waste but safety measures must be taken to ensure that there was no cross-infection.
Meanwhile, public health experts recommended inoculating children as it could prevent the risk of a third wave.
“Vaccines are approved by the DGCI only after ensuring that they are safe to be used. Immunogenicity and efficacy data needs to be established with sufficient academic data. As the vaccine is on trial for two-dose administration and believed to be safe for children, it can be used,” said senior paediatrician Dr Arasar Sreelalar.
Experts suggest that DNA-based vaccines are not very risky and have fewer biological concerns. They can be useful to ensure adequate immunity among children.
“The data do not suggest any reverse reactions. Individualistic reactions or inherent factors causing any reactions post-vaccination are very rare. It is suggested to vaccinate children as academic data in foreign countries has shown effectiveness and good immune response,” said senior paediatrician and former director of Institute of Child Health Dr J Kumudha.