Nationwide Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine programme launched
Mansukh Mandaviya, who released awareness packages on the PCV to be shared with states and union territories, said it was for the first time the vaccine has been made available for universal use
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday launched the nationwide expansion of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) as part of the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” initiative marking 75 years of India’s independence.
Vaccination against pneumonia is expected to bring down child mortality by nearly 60%.
Mandaviya, who also released awareness packages on the PCV to be shared with states and union territories, said it was for the first time the vaccine has been made available for universal use.
“Pneumonia caused by pneumococcus is the most common cause of severe pneumonia in children. In India, around 16% of deaths among children occur due to pneumonia. The nationwide roll-out of the PCV will reduce child mortality by around 60%,” said Mandaviya.
Pneumonia is among the leading causes of death among children aged under five globally.
Mandaviya highlighted the importance of healthy children in any country’s growth, productivity and development. “Children are the future of our country and it is our responsibility to provide them a healthy life. Mission Indradhanush, which was launched by... Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] is one such endeavour in this regard. The vision of ‘Sabko vaccine, muft vaccine’ by... [the] Prime Minister guiding the Covid-19 vaccination programme has ensured that the eligible population gets access to the... vaccines.”
Mandaviya said the PCV will further ensure the healthy growth and development of children, apart from reducing child mortality. He emphasised creating awareness regarding the vaccine to have people get their children vaccinated.
The UIP is one of the largest public health programmes for close to 26.7 million newborns and 29 million pregnant women annually. Immunisation is provided free of cost against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases under it.