Children to get PCV at the age of 6 weeks, 14 weeks and 9 months
This vaccination will protect children from diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, septicemia, sinusitis, otitis media
Raipur, June 16
Under the routine vaccination program in Chhattisgarh, children will now be provided Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) free of cost. This vaccine will protect children from many diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, septicemia, sinusitis, otitis media (ear infection) caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Babies will be given three doses at the age of six weeks, 14 weeks and nine months. This vaccine, which is taken in three doses, is available in the market at a very expensive rate.
In a virtual program on June 16, Health Minister T.S. Singhdeo launched PCV vaccination in the state under the routine vaccination program .
Addressing the Chief Medical and Health Officers of all the districts and field staff of the department in the program, Health Minister Singhdeo said that the inclusion of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in routine vaccination will protect children up to five years of age from diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria. This will also help in decreasing child mortality rate in the state.
He said that due to the high cost of PCV in the market, common people had limited access to it. But now with the inclusion of this vaccine in the routine vaccination programme, PCV will be vailable to all the children free of cost.
Singhdeo in his address said that 13 per cent of the children in the country who die under the age of five suffer from pneumonia. And 15 percent of these children die from pneumococcal pneumonia. He said that in the year 2010, one lakh five thousand children and in 2015, 53 thousand children died due to pneumococcal pneumonia.
Singhdeo has asked the Health Department officials to ensure that maximum number of babies get the PCV. He also asked them to create awareness among the parents of newborns about this so that they can get the prescribed dose according to the age of the child.
Director of Health and Family Welfare Department Dr. Priyanka Shukla said in her address to the inaugural program that children up to five years of age are more affected by pneumococcal bacteria.
PCV will help keep these children safe from the infection. He said that in the districts that are at high-risk of Japanese Encephalitis, vaccine has also been included in the routine vaccination program to prevent the disease.
Dr. Shukla informed that despite the pandemic, 94 percent children of the state have been vaccinated under the regular vaccination program in the last financial year 2020-21. He lauded all the Chief Medical and Health Officers and field staff for doing commendable work even during COVID crisis. She also asked the officials to ensure that new vaccines reach as many children as possible.
State Immunization Officer Dr. Amar Singh Thakur informed the officials of all the districts about the use, effect and precautions for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in the program. He said that the target is to make this vaccine available to about 6 lakh 33 thousand children in the state every year. In the year 2017, this vaccine was made available in five states of India in a phased manner. Now the allotment is being expanded throughout the country by including the vaccine under the regular vaccination program.