A poster from a private hospital in Bengaluru announcing that a drive to inoculate kids aged two to 18 with Covaxin was open went viral on Wednesday. However, the hospital later claimed that the poster made by the marketing team accidentally leaked on the internet and apologized for the mistake.
The poster, which read: “The wait is over. Covid vaccine drive for children at Sparsh hospital. Open now for ages 2-18 years,” also provided a contact number for registration and mentioned the price as Rs 1,200 for a vaccine dose.
Covid-19 vaccines have not yet been approved for children by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). On Tuesday, an expert panel of the drug authority recommended granting emergency use authorisation to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children and adolescents in the 2 to 18 years age group with certain conditions.
As the poster went viral, several parents made calls to the hospital. The chairman of the hospital, Dr Sharan S Patil, however, clarified that the marketing team was working on a creative and it got leaked during internal circulation. “This was leaked. It slipped out from within the team and, while everybody was blaming each other, it went viral. There is no date or anything on it. It was meant to be released as and when the government approves the vaccine,” Patil was quoted by Times of India as saying.
Patil also said that the hospital reached out to Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, and apologized for the inadvertent mistake.
If approved by DCGI, Covaxin will be the second vaccine after Zydus Cadila’s needle-free COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D to receive EUA for use in those below 18 years.