New Delhi :The hospitals in Delhi are gearing up to roll out the Covid vaccination programme among children aged between 15-18 years, slated to begin from January 3.
While speaking to UNI, the officers and staff at the hospitals said that separate arrangement for paediatric vaccination is being done, including designated vaccination sites and inclusion of a paediatric expert in AEFI management.
Prof Neelam Roy, Nodal Covid Vaccination Officer at Centre-run RML Hospital told UNI that one of the three sites at the hospital will be designated for children vaccination.
“We have three functional sites, where vaccination for people above 18 is being done. One of them will be designated for the children,” she said.
Roy, who also heads the Community Medicine Department of RML, said an expert will be included in the hospital’s AEFI management team.
“We will also add an expert from paediatrics in our AEFI management team to deal with adverse reactions post-vaccination, if occur to any child,” she added.
Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Director, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket said the infrastructure for the children vaccination is ready at the hospital.
“The vaccination will be done in our hospitals having paediatric departments. Our nursing staff and vaccinators will gear up for the drive. More manpower will be infused as per the demand,” he said, while speaking to UNI.
However, he also shared his worry about the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine for children since only Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has been approved for the children vaccination drive.
“The procurement of vaccines could pose a challenge since there is no option other than Covaxin. We have placed orders for additional doses and have been ensured timely supply,” he said.
When asked if there is still a supply lag with the Covaxin, Budhiraja said, “It’s not that we are not receiving the supply but given the fact that more than 85 per cent of vaccination coverage is done by Covishield alone, we are a bit concerned regarding the seamless supply.”
Dr Partha Sarathi Goswami, Head of Medical Services, Manipal Hospitals, said his facilities have clocked vaccination capacity of 100 doses on the day of the Covid paediatric vaccination launch.
“We will increase it gradually as demand increases,” he added.
India will start administering the Covid-19 vaccine to children in the age group of 15-18 years from January 3 next year.
The Centre has announced that Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin as the only vaccine that will be administered to eligible recipients in the age group of 15-18 years.
According to the Union Health Ministry, “Children born in 2007 and earlier shall be eligible to receive the vaccine.”
Estimates from Registrar General and Census Commissioner states that more than 10 lakh children in Delhi are eligible for Covid vaccination, while the figure crosses 2.75 crore nationally.