Beginning today, 9 Rajasthan districts to get free pneumonia vaccine
Rajasthan government will now make available free of cost the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), which was till now available only in private sector at Rs 3000-Rs 4000 per dose.Updated: Apr 06, 2018, 22:49 IST
Beginning April 7, the World Health Day, parents in nine districts of Rajasthan will not have to shell out a bomb to get their infants vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia. Rajasthan government will now make available free of cost the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), which was till now available only in private sector at Rs 3000-Rs 4000 per dose.
The move is part of universal immunisation programme (UIP).
Additional chief secretary, medical and health, Veenu Gupta Friday said that in the first phase, this vaccine will be administered to children in nine districts — Banswara, Barmer, Dungarpur, Jalore, Pali, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand, Sirohi and Udaipur. “Two primary doses of the PCV will be administered at six weeks, 14 weeks, and a booster dose will be administered at nine months,” Gupta said.
She said pneumonia kills more children under-five years of age in India than any other infectious diseases. The pentavalent vaccine that was scaled in all states under the UIP in 2015 protects against haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) pneumonia. “Now, the introduction of PCV in UIP will reduce deaths from pneumococcal pneumonia. It will also reduce the number of children being hospitalised for pneumonia and therefore reduce the economic burden on the families and the health cost of burden on the country,” Gupta said.
The under-5 mortality rate is 50 per 1000 live births, as per sample registration system 2015.
Gupta said India accounted for 20% of the global pneumonia deaths in 2015. In 2010, modeling-based report suggested that among children under five years, 36 lakh severe pneumonia episodes were recorded, of which 5.6 lakh (16%) were due to pneumococcal pneumonia. Also of 3.5 lakh all-cause pneumonia deaths, 1.05 lakh (30%) were caused by pneumococcal pneumonia. Of the total deaths in India, 71% of mortality due to pneumonia and pneumococcal pneumonia takes place in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan.
Secretary and mission director, national health mission, Naveen Jain said that soon other districts will also be covered under the programme. He said this vaccine was available only in the private sector. “This life saving vaccine will not only improve the health of children but also reduce unnecessary hospitalisation and other conditions associated with pneumonia,” he said.
Replying to a question on plans to achieve 90% full immunisation by December 2018 as per Prime Minister’s direction, Gupta said, “Rajasthan is doing good in with more than 80% full immunization. Special intensified mission, Indradhanush, will be launched in schedule caste dominated 600 villages in Rajasthan from April 23 this year.”