India is likely to start vaccinating children in the 12-17 age group for COVID-19 from October. The Drug Controller of India (DCGI) approved the needleless three-dose vaccine ZyCov-D from Cadila Healthcare for children in September. It is the first vaccine built on the plasmid DNA platform and received emergency use approval for use in children.Authorities plan to innoculate children with comorbidities like obesity, heart disorders, or immunodeficiency with the COVID-19 vaccine beginning this year, according to the Times of India. Remaining children will be vaccinated from the first quarter of 2022. Around 20 to 30 lakh children with comorbidities will be vaccinated in the first round.Cadila Healthcare is expected to supply nearly 40 lakhs doses in the first instalment, and gradually increase it to 1 crore each month. The government is expecting the drugmaker to supply nearly 4 to 5 crore doses by the year end.Which other vaccines are available for children?Several pharma companies in India are working on COVID-19 vaccines for children. Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) recently received approval to conduct phase two and three clinical trials of Covovax, the Indian version of US biotech firm's Novavax vaccine, on children aged between seven and 11 years.The second and third phases of trials that began in August included a total of 920 children -- 40 in the 12 to 17 age group, 230 in the seven to 11 age group, and 230 from two to six years age group.Bharat Biotech has completed second and third phases of clinical trials of Covaxin for use in children aged between two and 18 years. The Hyderabad-based vaccine maker conducted trials at six sites across India and it has already submitted data to the DCGI.Is it necessary to vaccinate children?Overall, there are around 44 crore children below 18 years of age in India. Of these, 12 crore are in the 12 to 17 age group, who are likely to be the first ones to receive the vaccine.Although children are a relatively low-risk group, fewer overall infections would help prevent another COVID-19 wave. Some states have started reopening schools for certain age groups. These children can become carriers of the virus, and to overcome this, experts claim that vaccination is a must.What is the status in other countries?In the United States, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for people above 16 years of age and has an EUA for children between 12 and 15 years. The pharma giant is seeking emergency use authorisation for the vaccine for use on children between 5 and 11 years.As per MayoClinic, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 100 percent effective in preventing coronavirus in children aged between 12 and 15. The vaccine is almost 91 percent effective in preventing severe illness in people aged 16 and above.In Canada, Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty and Moderna Spikevax have been approved for children aged 12 and above. At present no coronavirus vaccine has been approved for children aged below 12, as clinical trials are underway to determine if the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in infants and children aged under 12.Italy is also trying to vaccinate as many teens as possible as schools re-opened in the country in September. Pfizer's vaccine has been approved for children aged between 12 and 15 years, while Moderna's vaccine has been approved for children aged between 12 and 17 years. By September, almost 62 percent of children received their first dose and almost 45 percent were fully vaccinated.In Europe, both Spain and Denmark have also been quite successful in administering vaccines to children. In Spain, almost 80 percent of the approx. 3.9 million children aged between 12 to 19 received their first dose and 59 percent were fully vaccinated by September.France being the first country to vaccinate children above 12 has also administered the first dose to almost 68 percent of children aged between 12 to 17 and 56 percent were fully vaccinated by September.