Hyderabad: Several social media users are claiming that Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin has been approved for children above the age of 12 years. A Facebook user wrote, "Great News: Bharat Biotech (Made in India) Covaxin Approved for Children Above 12 years."
The claim is FALSE. Covaxin has not been given approval for children above 12 years.
The fact-check team of the Press Bureau of India refuted the claim and said no such approval has been given by the government of India. Currently, citizens above the age of 18 are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine.
The Union health ministry had announced that from 1 May all eligible citizens above the age of 18 years can get the COVID-19 vaccine. No reports or announcements have been made regarding the administration of vaccines to children above 12 years.
The Drug Controller General of India has given permission to Bharat Biotech to conduct clinical trials of Covaxin on children in the age group of two to 18 years. This decision was made after "careful examination" and after the subject expert committee recommended permission in favour of Bharat Biotech.
Bharat Biotech will conduct the trials on 525 healthy volunteers. The vaccine will be administered through muscles in two doses in a gap of 28 days and will take place at AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Patna, and Meditrina Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur.
As of now, Covaxin has not been approved for children above the age of 12 years. It is only in the trial stage. Hence, the viral claims are FALSE.