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  India   All India  13 May 2017  Pneumonia vaccine to be part of immunisation plan

Pneumonia vaccine to be part of immunisation plan

THE ASIAN AGE. | TEENA THACKER
Published : May 13, 2017, 3:17 am IST
Updated : May 13, 2017, 3:17 am IST

Nearly 25 per cent of the 1.4m children below the age of five that die every year globally due to the disease are from India.

As per a 2014 report by UNICEF, pneumonia and diarrhoea claimed more than 3,00,000 children in 2013.
 As per a 2014 report by UNICEF, pneumonia and diarrhoea claimed more than 3,00,000 children in 2013.

New Delhi: To keep a check on deaths under five years of age, the government will launch pneumococcal vaccine in the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) on Saturday.

The vaccine will become part of the UIP in three states, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, to begin with. “The vaccine will be introduced in the country in a phased wise manner,” said a senior official in the health ministry.

 

The move gains significance as pneumonia is emerging as one of the leading causes of mortality among children under five years of age. The government had earlier asked the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), an advisory group on immunisation to conduct a feasibility study on the vaccine so that it could be introduced in the country.

As per a 2014 report by UNICEF, pneumonia and diarrhoea claimed more than 3,00,000 children in 2013. The 2014 report released by Internatio-nal vaccine Access Centre suggested raising coverage of pneumonia treatment.

Nearly 25 per cent of the 1.4m children below the age of five that die every year globally due to the disease are from India.

 

India has for the last few years intensified strategies to combat diseases affecting children through various interventions like introducing pentavalent vaccine for hib, pneumonia and meningitis, rotavirus vaccine for diarrhoea and scaling up measels vaccination. Pneumonia is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of lungs.

The pneumococcal vaccine however is widely available and administered in the private sector, the cost of the vaccine is definitely a cause of concern for many, experts believe.

Tags: unicef, universal immunisation programme, pneumonia vaccine
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi