AIIMS Director seeks nasal vaccine for children

Dr Randeep Guleria

Chennai: A nasal Covid-19 vaccine will be easy to give to school-going children who bear a ‘very mild’ load of the disease but they are infectious, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said.

The noted pulmonologist also said that people who have contracted coronavirus should also get the jab about 4-6 weeks after recovery.

“It (coronavirus infection) is very mild in children but they are infectious. They can spread the disease. The vaccines that have come are not approved for children because there have been no studies conducted on children but this (vaccination) is a very important step and trials are being done,” he said.

Once children start going to the school regularly and they contract the infection, they will not have much problem but if they bring it home they can spread it to their parents or grandparents, the chief of the premier Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said.

“Vaccines for children may come later…Bharat Biotech is trying to get approved a nasal vaccine. Such a vaccine will be very easy to be given to children as it is a spray and not a jab and hence compliance is more”.

“In half-an-hour you can vaccinate an entire class. So, if that (nasal vaccine) is approved it will be even easier to give the vaccine,” Guleria said.

He was also asked by the NDRF personnel if a person who has recovered from Covid-19 should get vaccinated with India commissioning two vaccines last week.

“A vaccine jab is essential for them (recovered from coronavirus) due to two reasons. One is you are not sure how strong is your post Covid-19 immunity and it has been seen quite a few times that those who had a mild to moderate infection their anti-body response has been less and we also don’t know how long will it be,” he said.

A vaccine will be ‘beneficial’ for such an individual as it will act as a ‘booster’ and if anti-bodies are depleting, with the vaccine it will be back to a high level, he said.


NT Bureau