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Union Government launches Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine against Pneumonia

May 15, 2017 10:15 IST

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda on 13 May 2017 launched Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) against Pneumonia under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP).

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

PCV will protect children against severe forms of pneumococcal disease, such as pneumonia and meningitis. Currently, the vaccine is being rolled out to approximately 21 lakh children in Himachal Pradesh and in some parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the first phase.

These vaccines will later be introduced in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in 2018 and will be eventually expanded across the country in a phased manner.

The vaccine will also support efforts of the state government in further bringing down the child mortality. To raise awareness about PCV, the ministry also unveiled the communication material comprising TV and radio spots, posters, banners, etc. at the event.

The Ministry also announced an extensive awareness campaign so that maximum number of people can avail these services.

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Pneumococcal disease condition in India
• Pneumococcal disease is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in children under five years of age globally and in India.
• India accounts for nearly 20 per cent of global pneumonia deaths in this age group.
• In 2010, pneumococcal pneumonia accounted for approximately 16 per cent of all severe pneumonia cases and 30 per cent of pneumonia related deaths in children under- five years of age in India.

Comment

Pneumonia kills more children under five years of age in India than any other infectious disease. The pentavalent vaccine which was launched earlier in all states under the UIP by 2015 protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) pneumonia.

With the launch of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in the UIP, there will be reduction in the cases of children deaths from pneumococcal pneumonia.

PCV will also reduce the number of children being hospitalized for pneumonia, and therefore will reduce the economic burden on their families and the health cost burden on the country overall.

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