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Apollo Hospitals, Asia's foremost integrated healthcare services provider, today announced free vaccinations against COVID-19 for children with specified co-morbidities across the hospital network. 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. The list is expected to include children with haematological, neurological, cardiac, liver, gastrointestinal, rheumatic, cancer, respiratory, genitourinary, and developmental disorders. However, this 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.
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. The Government's approval of vaccinations for children with co-morbidities, when it comes through will be a welcome step in the right direction. 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!"
Apollo Hospital, which has been at the frontlines of battle against COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and is today the largest private sector vaccinator in the country with over 5 million vaccine doses administered. The vaccination program for children and adolescents will help to protect the future of the nation from COVID-19.
There are two vaccines that are have been given or are awaiting EUA by the Government and these are:
1. Covaxin: For ages 2-18 years. Two doses at a gap of 28 days. Administered intra-muscularly
2. ZyCov-D: For ages 12-18 years. Three doses at a gap of 28 days. Needle free vaccine administered intra-dermally.
Both vaccines would be available at Apollo Hospitals' vaccination centers across the country once all Government approvals are in place and the vaccines are made available.
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