India repudiates Covishield supplies to COVAX as BioNTech seeks vaccine approval for kids

INDIA – India has decided not to share Covid vaccines with the rest of the world through the international vaccine alliance spearheaded by the World Health Organization and Gavi, Covax, till all the adults are immunized in the country.

In March, India imposed a hold on all major exports of Covid vaccines affecting deliveries to the Covax facility and slowing down vaccination exercises in Africa.

Yet, last month, COVAX had raised hopes that the Asian country would soon resume supply of locally manufactured Covid-19 vaccines as the country experienced rising output of COVID-19 vaccines and a steady decline in new cases.

With successful national vaccination and the arrival of more products, we are hoping that Indian supply to COVAX will resume as quickly as possible,” a spokesperson for the platform’s co-lead GAVI said.

BioNTech seeks vaccine approval for 5 year olds

Meanwhile, BioNTech is set to request approval across the globe to use its COVID-19 vaccine in children as young as five over the next few weeks and preparations for a launch are on track.

Already over the next few weeks we will file the results of our trial in five to 11-year old’s with regulators across the world and will request approval of the vaccine in this age group, also here in Europe,” Chief Medical Officer Oezlem Tuereci said.

The confident statements underscore the lead that BioNTech, which collaborates with Pfizer, holds in the race to win broad approval to vaccinate children below the age of 12 in Western countries.

BioNTech has said it expected to file its regulatory dossier on the five to 11-year old’s in September. It has also laid out plans to seek approval in children aged 6 months to 2 years later this year.

Runner-up Moderna said on Thursday a trial testing its shot in children between six and 11 years was now fully enrolled and that it was working on the best dosage in another study involving infants as young as six months.

China has been ahead in lowering the age limit of its immunization campaign. The country’s health authorities in June approved emergency use of Sinovac’s vaccine in children as young as three years.

Chile, which has relied heavily on Sinovac’s shot, this month approved use of the vaccine in children over 6 years of age.

Israel’s health ministry said in July that children as young as five can get the Pfizer-BioNTech shot if they suffer from conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

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