AstraZeneca vax immunogenic in kids aged 6-17 yrs

A new study published in the Lancet has revealed that AstraZeneca‘s Covid-19 vaccine, which is being used in India as Covishield, is well tolerated and immunogenic in children aged 6-17 years.

“No safety concerns were raised in this trial,” it said.

While vaccination against Covid-19 has been recommended for those below 18 years, published data on immune responses induced by Covid-19 vaccines in this age group is scarce compared with that for adults.

The study was done between February 15 and April 2, 2021, with 262 participants aged 12-17 years.

The study was carried out at four trial sites in the UK. Healthy participants aged 6-17 years who did not have a history of chronic respiratory conditions were included in the study.


A senior health ministry official said the government will look into the findings of the study, but as of now there are no recommendations from National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) to administer Covishield in this age group.

“We have not received any recommendations from NTAGI yet to administer Covishield in the younger age group,” he said.

Of the participants who received ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, 169 (80%) reported at least one solicited local or systemic adverse event up to 7 days following the first dose, and 146 (76%) participants following the second dose.

No serious adverse events related to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 administration were recorded by the data cut-off date of October 28, 2021, the study said.

Of the participants who received at least one dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, there were 128 unsolicited adverse events up to 28 days after vaccination reported by 83 (40%) participants. One participant in the 6-11 years group receiving ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 reported a grade 4 fever of 40·2°C on day 1 following the first vaccination, which was resolved within a day.

Pain and tenderness were the most common local solicited adverse events for all the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and capsular group B meningococcal groups following both doses. “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is well tolerated and immunogenic in children aged 6-17 years, inducing concentrations of antibodies that are similar to those associated with high efficacy in phase 3 studies in adults,” the study said.

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Roy Walsh

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