New Delhi: There was another addition to the basket of vaccines under India’s universal immunization programme— Mission Indradhanush, with Union health minister, JP nadda, on Saturday launching a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
The vaccine protects a child against severe forms of pneumococcal disease.
Introducing the vaccine at a function in this Himachal Pradesh town, Nadda emphasized upon the need for use of vaccines to protect children against diseases that are vaccine preventable.
“No child should die in the country from vaccine preventable diseases is the goal and commitment of our government. Strengthening routine immunization is an essential investment in India’s children and will ensure a healthy future of the country.”
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects children against severe forms of pneumococcal disease such as pneumonia and meningitis.
The vaccine is being rolled out to approximately 21 lakh children in Himachal Pradesh and parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the first phase.
This will be followed by introduction in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan next year and eventually be expanded throughout the country in a phased manner.
“Government has taken notable steps in the direction of total immunization,” he said.
Under Mission Indradhanush more than 2.6 crore beneficiaries have been immunised. From 1% annual increase in coverage of full immunisation, Mission Indradhanush has resulted in a 6.7% annual expansion in the immunisation cover.
“The immunisation programme started with providing protection against six vaccine preventable diseases, it will now offer protection to our children from 12 diseases,” he said.
All these vaccines have been available in the private sector for many years, not only in India but also across the world.
“While these vaccines in the private sector were accessible to only those who could afford them, by making them available under the UIP (Universal Immunisation Programme), the government is ensuring equitable access to those who need them the most,” he said.