All You Should Know About India’s New Vaccine For Pneumonia

Pneumonia accounts for 20 per cent of global deaths of children under five years of age.

New Delhi: As part of India’s immunisation programme, a new vaccine has been introduced last week. The newly-launched vaccine protects children against pneumonia – a disease that is a cause of death for more children under five years of age than any other infectious diseases 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.

Here’s what you should know about pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV):

1. PCV is part of India’s universal immunisation programme which ensures its access to those who need them the most, the underprivileged and underserved.

2. It protects children against severe forms of pneumococcal disease, such as pneumonia and meningitis.

3. In the first phase, the vaccine is being rolled out for around 21 lakh children in Himachal Pradesh and parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

4. The vaccine will be launched in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan next year, and eventually be expanded to the entire country in a phased manner.

5. The vaccine aims to reduce child deaths from pneumococcal pneumonia, the number of children being hospitalized for pneumonia, and therefore lessen the economic burden on the families and the health cost burden on the country.

Talking about Misssion Indradhanush during the launch of the vaccine, Union Health Minister JP Nadda said that under ‘Mission Indradhanush’, more than 2.6 crore beneficiaries have been immunised.

“From 1 per cent annual increase in coverage of full immunisation, Mission Indradhanush has resulted in a 6.7 per cent annual expansion in the immunisation cover.”

The programme started with providing protection against six vaccine preventable diseases, it will now offer protection to children from 12 diseases, he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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