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Drops on the Door: Children’s Hospitals Begin Routine Immunization at Home | India News

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With Covid-19 disrupting childhood immunization over the past year, children’s hospitals are now planning ahead. Before the third wave of the pandemic arrives, they have gone door to door with vaccines for the standard immunization of children against rotavirus, polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, measles and seasonal flu.
The problem that arose since the outbreak was weighing the benefits of routine vaccination against the risk of Covid-19 in a hospital or clinic. In an internal audit, Motherhood Hospital found that there had been a 70% drop in vaccinations for those under 18 months of age at all of its facilities since the pandemic began. “Due to the closure and increased cases in Bengaluru, I did not want to visit a clinic or hospital,” said Jayashree Kanan, mother of a six-year-old boy.
So, three weeks ago, Motherhood Hospital started its home vaccination campaign. It started with Bengaluru and then continued with Pune, Chennai, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Indore, and Noida. “So far we have vaccinated about 500 children at home,” said Dr. Prathap Chandra, a neonatologist and pediatrician at Motherhood Hospital in Bengaluru. Kanan’s daughter was one of them. “The service helped,” he said.
Another hospital, Cloudnine, has vaccinated more than 16,000 in Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon, Noida, Chandigarh and Panchkula. While parents have been skeptical about going to hospitals and clinics, their concern about missing the standard vaccination for their children has also been high. So when Cloudnine introduced his home vaccination services, the demand skyrocketed. “Since the pandemic began, we have administered 50% more flu shots compared to what we did before Covid,” said Nitin Nag, Cloudnine regional director (south and west).
Every year, the Universal Immunization Program covers 2.65 million children and 2.9 million pregnant women against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases. An Indian study published in February this year found that 83% of surveyed pediatricians reported a 50% or more drop in vaccination services. The government also recognized the Covid-induced disruption and launched Indradhanush Intensified Mission 3.0 in February this year to close the gap in missed vaccines by children and pregnant women by organizing camps.
“About 15 years ago measles resurfaced in the UK after a report linked the measles vaccine to autism and people stopped vaccinating their children,” said Dr Chandra. “If we protect children against these diseases, immunity will be high. Covid-19 affects people with low immunity. It is important to us to provide immunization, build immunity and reduce the burden on healthcare. ”



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