No Typhoid Vaccines in Delhi's Government Hospitals

Typhoid Vaccines
Rohit Shishodia

Poor children in Delhi are going without typhoid vaccination because no government hospital has been supplied typhoid vaccines for the last one year or so. This vaccination is supposed to be free. The poor can not afford the exorbitant cost of vaccination in private facilities.

Full and free immunization against typhoid for children seems to be a huge challenge in Delhi as the typhoid vaccine to be administered to children from two to five years age is unavailable in the national capital's government hospitals for almost one full year.

This has been revealed by a senior doctor and officials deputed in the government dispensaries and hospitals in Delhi.

The non-availability of typhoid vaccine is impeding the vaccination program in Delhi.Though the cost of the typhoid vaccine is not much, getting it administrated in private clinics is a costly affair for the poor.

Many a times, children miss this important vaccine due to its non-availability. Missing one or the other dose can lead to major health complications for the children now or in the future. 

Doctors deputed in various governmental health institutions inform that the typhoid vaccine has not been available for almost one year in the national capital. All Delhi government and MCD-run dispensaries do not have a single typhoid vaccine, forcing children to go without vaccination.

This has caused major convenience to the parents of children who cannot afford to buy the vaccine from the chemists. Parul, a resident of East Delhi and a mother of a two-year-old daughter, says that she has been taking rounds of dispensaries for the typhoid vaccine and she cannot afford have the vaccine administered in a private clinic due to financial constraints.

She has been advised by the dispensary doctor to get her daughter vaccinated from a private doctor. She says that not just typhoid vaccines, but many other vaccines such as MMR are also not available in the dispensary. There are many people like Parul who are facing the same problem.

The non-availability of the typhoid vaccine for one year exposes the Delhi government’s negligence. What is more surprising is that it may take several months to start the supply of typhoid vaccine in Delhi. It may be noted that not getting vaccination is one of the reasons for the increasing number of deaths in children in India.

Dr Suresh Seth, Senior official, Directorate of Family Welfare, Delhi, admitted that the typhoid vaccine is not available in Delhi. He said that the tender for getting the typhoid vaccine has been finalized and the technical bid will be finalized within a few days. “Some other modalities will also be finalized within a few days. After two months, the typhoid vaccine will be made available in Delhi", added Dr Seth.

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