Apollo Announces Free Covid Vaccination For Children With “Specific Comorbidities”.
New Delhi: A leading private healthcare group said Monday that it will provide COVID-19 injections for free to children with “specific comorbidities,” even as the Center has yet to announce its approval.
Apollo Hospitals, in a statement, said, however, that it is an “indicative list” and that “the final list of comorbidities eligible for free vaccination would be according to the list published by the government.”
Zydus Cadila’s Covid vaccine, ZyCoV-D, has already received the Emergency Use Authorization from the Controller General of Medicines of India (DCGI) in the country and will be administered to people 12 years of age and older. It has not yet been introduced into the national Covid vaccination program.
As for the emergency use approval for Covaxin from Bharat Biotech in the age group 2-18 years by DCGI, it is under expert evaluation, official sources previously said.
On October 12, the Subject Matter Experts Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the central drug authority recommended granting the Emergency Use Authorization to Covaxin for children and adolescents in the age group 2 to 18 years with certain conditions.
Apollo Hospitals sources said Monday that the list of comorbidities announced by the group on Monday was prepared “after consultation with the government.”
“Approval to vaccinate children with specific comorbidities is expected to be granted soon and immediately after approval, and details of the age group allowed for vaccination, the free vaccination initiative would be launched by Apollo hospitals in all their units. “he added. the statement said.
“The list is expected to include children with hematological, neurological, cardiac, liver, gastrointestinal, rheumatic, cancerous, respiratory, genitourinary and developmental disorders,” he said.
Dr Prathap C Reddy, President of the Apollo Hospitals Group, said: “Adults have been the focus of vaccination so far as children have generally been spared a serious Covid infection. However, This is not the case for children with comorbidities. These children continue to be at high risk of developing a serious infection. In addition, children with comorbidities have also experienced a significant psychosocial impact, as the confinement caused them to lose personalized attention and the specialized treatment and care they need. ”
The government’s approval of vaccination for children with comorbidities, when it arrives, will be a “welcome step in the right direction,” he said in the statement.
“Realizing the importance of this vaccine, we will expand Covid vaccines completely free of charge to children with comorbidities and give them the necessary ‘kavach’ (shield) against Covid,” said Reddy.
Both vaccines would be available at Apollo Hospitals vaccination centers nationwide once all government approvals are in place and the vaccines are available, according to the statement.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)