Pneumococcal vaccines to be given for free in Delhi govt health facilities: Kejriwal

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New Delhi, Jul 15 (PTI) Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said pneumococcal vaccines, which are quite expensive, will be administered for free at Delhi government-run hospitals and dispensaries in the national capital.

These vaccines protect children from pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis among other diseases and cost between Rs 1,500 to 6,000.

Flagging off the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination Programme at the Aam Aadmi Polyclinic at Paschim Vihar in Delhi, Kejriwal encouraged parents to get their children vaccinated.

'Till now, children in Delhi were administered vaccines for 12 diseases. From today, we are administering vaccines against pneumonia.

'Earlier those under the age of five were gravely affected by pneumonia in some cases even leading to death. This vaccine will protect children against death. Not only pneumonia, but the vaccine will also protect children from diseases like meningitis and sepsis,' he said.

These vaccine jabs will be administered for free at the Delhi government's health facilities and each child will get three doses at specified time periods, the statement said.

'This is a very expensive injection... It is generally unaffordable for the common public. So, the Delhi Government will provide it for free at its centres. This a step forward toward Delhi government's resolve to improve and strengthen the healthcare system and infrastructure of the national capital,' the chief minister said.

Asked about the COVID-19 vaccination programme, he said the city government is vaccinating people at maximum capacity.

'We administer as many vaccines as we can whenever we receive them. As many vaccines as we receive from the central government, we administer them at the earliest,” Kejriwal said.

About the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination Programme, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said, 'The Delhi Government is starting this programme at 600 centres for free to protect children from the risk of serious illnesses and death.' The vaccine will be administered in three doses -- at one-and-half months age, three-and-half months age and nine months age, the statement said. PTI SLB NSD NSD

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