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Coronavirus Vaccine

Vaccination For Children: Apollo Says It Will Offer Free Jabs For Certain Categories

Apollo Hospitals group to provide free vaccines for children with co-morbidities once they get approval for the same from the government.

Vaccination For Children: Apollo Says It Will Offer Free Jabs For Certain Categories
  • Vaccines would be available at Apollo Hospitals'' vaccination centres
  • Approval will soon be granted for vaccinating children: Apollo
  • Children continue to be at high risk of a severe infection: Experts

New Delhi: A leading private healthcare group on Monday (October 25) said it will provide COVID-19 jabs for free to children with “specified co-morbidities”, even as the Centre is yet to announce its approval to it. Apollo Hospitals, in a statement, said, however, it is an “indicative list” and the “final list of co-morbidities eligible for free vaccination would be as per the list published by the government”. Zydus Cadila’s Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D has already received emergency use authorization from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in the country and will be administered to those aged 12 years and above.

Also Read: Nation Did Its Duty: PM Modi On 1 Billion Covid Vaccination Milestone

It is yet to be introduced in the nationwide Covid vaccination programme. As for the emergency use approval for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin in the 2-18 years age group by the DCGI, it is under expert evaluation, official sources had earlier said. On October 12, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the central drug authority had recommended granting Emergency Use Authorization to Covaxin for children and adolescents in the 2-18 years age group with certain conditions. Apollo Hospitals sources on Monday claimed that the list of co-morbidities announced by the group was prepared “after consulting with the government”. “It is anticipated that approval will soon be granted for vaccinating children with specified co-morbidities and immediately post-approval, and details of the age-group permitted for vaccination, the free vaccination initiative would be launched by Apollo Hospitals across its units,” the statement said.

The list is expected to include children with haematological, neurological, cardiac, liver, gastrointestinal, rheumatic, cancer, respiratory, genitourinary and developmental disorders, says, Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group.

“Adults have been the focus of vaccination till now as by and large, children have been spared from severe Covid infection. However, this is not the case in children with co-morbidities. These children continue to be at high risk of developing a severe infection. In addition, children with comorbidities have also seen a significant psychosocial impact as the lockdown resulted in their missing out on the personalised attention and specialised treatment and care that they require.” The government’s approval of vaccination for children with co-morbidities, when it comes through, will be a “welcome step in the right direction”, he was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Realising the criticality of this vaccination, we will be extending the Covid vaccines completely free of cost to children with co-morbidities and giving them the necessary ‘kavach’ (shield) against Covid,” Dr Reddy said.

Also Read: Centre Issues Guidelines To Prevent Surge In Covid Cases During Festivals

Both vaccines would be available at Apollo Hospitals’ vaccination centres across the country once all approvals by the government are in place and the vaccines are made available.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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