'Vaccine for elderly population, target groups may incur huge financial liability', Govt to do cost-benefit analysis

Kolkata: A healthcare worker prepares to vaccinate beneficiaries during the COVID-19 dry run for immunization activity in Kolkata. (File Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)
Representational Image: IANS

Thiruvananthapuram: The state Government has constituted a three-member committee to conduct the cost-benefit analysis of vaccination of the target groups suggested in the Kerala state vaccine policy. The committee includes Dr Sandeep K, Deputy Director (Family Welfare), Dr Bijoy E, Joint Director (Operations), State Health Agency and Dr Shibulal. A, General Manager, Kerala Medical Services Corporation.

The Committee has been directed to submit their report to the Government within a week.

A Committee, chaired by Dr B Ekbal, was constituted to submit recommendations for the formulation of a Vaccine Policy for the State. One of the recommendations in the vaccine policy is the introduction of vaccines for people above 65 years, immunocompromised and those with co-morbidities. 

The vaccine policy notes that mortality and morbidity due to influenza and pneumococcal infections is high in elderly, immunocompromised and those with co-morbidities. In this context, Pneumococcal vaccines 13 valent conjugate vaccine [PCV13] and 23 valent polysaccharide vaccine [PPSV23] and annual Quadrivalent Influenza vaccine should be administered, according to the state vaccine policy.

A Vaccine Policy Review Committee chaired by Dr Meenakshi V, Additional Director of Health Services (FW) was constituted by the government to review the recommendations in the vaccine policy. The review committee, while submitting its report specifically recommended

that the State shall conduct a cost-benefit analysis before introducing the new vaccines in the State immunization schedule, which is proposed to be done using the State’s funds for immunization.

The government has constituted a committee for cost-benefit analysis stating that vaccination of the suggested target groups of the population may incur huge financial liability to the State exchequer and hence it is essential to conduct the proposed cost-benefit analysis

before implementation of the policy.

Dr B Iqbal has recommended demanding the centre to include vaccination of target groups in the National immunization programme and co-operating with private hospitals to ensure the availability of required vaccines at low cost. Another recommendation was to include vaccination in the medical insurance scheme for state employees and pensioners.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.