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Pneumonia vaccine to be given to kids in 9 Rajasthan districts from April  

A vaccine that prevents pneumonia will be included in immunisation programmes in nine districts of Rajasthan from April, officials said

jaipur Updated: Feb 05, 2018 21:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan news,Pneumonia,Vaacine
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine will be given to children in Rajasthan as part of immunisation programme. (HT File)

A vaccine that prevents pneumonia will be included in immunisation programmes in nine districts of Rajasthan from April, officials said.

The vaccine, called pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), will be given to children under a Centre’s pilot programme, which is in its second phase. The first phase was launched in 2017 in Himachal Pradesh and parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

“A lot of children in Rajasthan die of pneumonia that can be prevented through PCV. On success of the pilot programme in nine districts, it will be extended to other districts of the state,” said Naveen Jain, mission director of the National Health Mission.

“Pneumonia is number one killer among leading infectious diseases in the under-5 age group in India. The introduction of PCV will help in curbing pneumonia and other illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria.”

The health department organised a two-day workshop on Monday for reproductive and child health officers, and selected medical officers of nine districts -- Banswara, Barmer, Dungarpur, Jalore, Pali, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand, Sirohi and Udaipur – for training in the new vaccine.

“These nine districts have high under-5 mortality in Rajasthan and PCV will benefit approximately 4.6 lakh children,” Jain said.

Director, reproductive and child health, Dr SM Mittal said PCV will reduce incidence of pneumonia, meningitis and other serious bacterial infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria.

“Two primary doses (of PCV) will be administered to newborns at sixth week and 14th week and a booster dose at the ninth month,” Mittal said.

“The PCV vaccine is available in private sector and three doses of it cost around Rs 10,000-12,000, which only a few could afford. By including it in routine immunisation programme, the underprivileged and poor people can get it administered to their children free of cost.”

Around 10 lakh deaths take place every year in the world, of which 16% in under-5 were due to pneumonia. India shares 20% of global deaths due to pneumonia, according to World Health Organisation and Maternal Child Epidemiology Estimation 2017.

In Rajasthan, the under-5 mortality rate is 45 as per Sample Registration System 2016; in 2015, the rate was 50.

“The trained officials will further train all the health workers and medical officers of their districts,” Mittal said.

First Published: Feb 05, 2018 21:56 IST