Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda on 26 March 2016 launched the rotavirus vaccine as part of the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) of the country.
The vaccine is being introduced initially in four states, which are Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha and will be expanded to the entire country in a phased manner.
The rotavirus vaccine was developed indigenously, under a public-private partnership by the Ministry of Science and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Apart from the rotavirus vaccine, three new vaccines are also being introduced as part of UIP including Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), Measles, Rubella (MR) vaccine and Adult Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine.
With these new vaccines, India’s UIP will provide free vaccines against 12 life threatening diseases to 27 million children annually, the largest birth cohort in the world.
It is a most common causative agent of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) among infants below 11 months age group in India. It spreads from person to person due to bacterial agents that are primarily transmitted through contaminated food or water.
In India, diarrhoea caused by rotavirus kills nearly 80 thousand children under the age of 5 years and lead to 10 lakh hospitalizations every year. India accounts for 22 percent of the global deaths that occurs due to diarrhoea-causing rotavirus.
About Universal Immunization Programme
• Universal Immunization Programme is a vaccination program launched by the Government of India in 1985.
• It became a part of Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme in 1992 and is currently one of the key areas under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) since 2005.
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When: 26 March 2016