Mumbai Hospital Begins COVID Vaccine Registration For Children, No Dates Yet

Narayana Health's SRCC Hospital for children has released a brochure for pre-registrations explaining details about the two vaccines but not their cost or when they would be available

Narayana Health's SRCC hospital based in Mumbai has released a brochure stating they are starting registrations to provide COVID-19 vaccines to children between the ages of 2-18. This brochure explains the vaccine dosage for both the vaccines that have received emergency use authorisation for children in India, but has no details about when it would be available and at what cost.

India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has approved Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for 2-18 years old and Zydus Pharma's zy-CoV-D for 12-18 years old children. While Bharat Biotech currently sells Covaxin to the government at ₹150 per dose, the government is going to procure the three-dose COVID-19 vaccine with its special PharmaJet injector at ₹1128 for all the three doses. The price of the Zydus vaccine at private health centers has not been disclosed yet but Covaxin is sold at ₹1410 per dose for those above 18, at the private hospitals. It is unclear whether the vaccine will be priced differently for children.

The brochure released by SRCC Children's Hospital, Mumbai contains a QR code which allows the user to pre-register their child for the vaccine. On the lines of the vaccine tourism advertisements that stormed social media when the vaccines were approved but not launched in the US and Russia, this brochure is also only for registration without providing any further details.

The brochure highlights that they do not have a specific timeline for vaccination and once the Government approves the market launch, they will revert to the user with a specific date.

BOOM contacted SRCC hospital and was redirected to Narayana Health's executives. When asked whether the cost of the vaccines has been pre-determined, the executive told us that the cost and the dates will be shared on the basis of approval and once the person registers.

Many experts believe that only those children who are at high risk or living with co-morbidities should be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine as the risk of the virus among children is not more compared to adults. However, the Indian government may allow every child in this age group to receive the vaccine as countries like the US and UK are vaccinating every child between 12-18 with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccination will also assist schools to reopen faster for sessions. Several states have already reopened for classes but parents are still wary to send their children to school. Earlier, when governments were still reticent to reopen schools, several professors and public health experts had written to the Centre to permit reopening of schools.

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