Children from poor families to be given one free dose of vaccination

To guard them against Hepatitis B infection that could damage their liver, children in the 4-12 age group and belonging to poor families will be given one free dose of vaccination and two more doses at Rs.50 a dose under a project by Rotary Club of Coimbatore East and VGM Hospital in the city.

Thirty children from a slum near the hospital on Tiruchi Road were administered the first dose of the vaccine free of cost, after the project was launched on Friday by president of the club K. Ajay Kumar.

Chairman of the hospital and project leader V.G. Mohan Prasad said there was a State Government programme for free vaccination for the last three years. “Therefore, we decided to cover children who were born earlier and had never been vaccinated against Hepatitis B”.

“We have written to the Chief Education Officer of Coimbatore that teachers at government schools send a note through the students to their parents, asking whether the children had been vaccinated. If not, these children could get vaccinated under this project,” he said. “We are also tying up with the Coimbatore Corporation to cover the students of its schools.”

Dr. Mohan Prasad said Varaprasad Reddy, Chairman of Sanofi Group, a pharmaceutical company, had offered 10,000 doses of vaccine for the new project. The company had provided 3 lakh doses in 1998 for a massive programme.

Cost

The cost of one dose of vaccination was at least Rs.100 and the charge varied with the hospital or doctor. And, the vaccine came in a multi-dose vial, which ruled out the possibility of the poor purchasing one full vial. Therefore, fixing it at Rs.50 a dose for the second and third doses was aimed at making vaccination affordable for the poor, he said.

More In: Coimbatore