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Covid-19: Apollo Hospitals to provide free vaccine jabs to kids

Covid-19: Apollo Hospitals to provide free vaccine jabs to kids

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New Delhi: A leading private healthcare group Apollo on Monday in a statement said that “Apollo 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.”

Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, “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 personalized attention and specialized treatment and care that they require.”

“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,” Reddy said.

Zydus-Cadila’s Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D has already received an 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. It is yet to be introduced in the nationwide Covid vaccination program.

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According to the sources, 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.

Around two weeks back, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 of the central drug authority had recommended granting emergency use authorization to Covaxin for children.

According to the information provided by the officials, it is anticipated that approval will soon be granted for vaccinating children with specified co-morbidities. The free vaccination initiative would be launched by Apollo Hospitals across its units. The list is expected to include children with hematological, neurological, cardiac, liver, gastrointestinal, rheumatic, cancer, respiratory, genitourinary, and developmental disorders.

(_Vinayak Barot)

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