State wants 5-in-1 vaccine

Pentavalent shot UP has sent proposal to Centre for nod

Written by SURBHI KHYATI | Lucknow | Published: July 24, 2012 3:36:59 am

Pentavalent shot UP has sent proposal to Centre for nod

The department of family welfare in UP is planning to introduce a pentavalent vaccine for the first time in the state’s routine immunisation programme.

The vaccine,as the name suggests,will prevent newborns against five life-threatening diseases — Hepatitis B,Diphtheria,Whooping Cough (Pertussis),Tetanus and Haemophilus Influenza Type B by just a single prick. The proposal for the new vaccine has been sent to the Centre for approval.

As of now,infants in UP are immunised against Tuberculosis (BCG),Diphtheria,Whooping Cough,Tetanus (DPT),Measles,Polio,Hepatitis B and Japanese Encephalitis (in 35 affected districts) through routine immunisation programme.

With the introduction of the pentavalent vaccine,the infant will also be protected against Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib),a bacteria known to cause meningitis and pneumonia amongst children below the age of five years in the country.

The pentavalent vaccine will replace the DPT vaccine as well as Hepatitis B vaccine from the routine immunisation programme.

Till date,the vaccines for DPT are administered three times in the first year of a child’s life,at six,10 and 14 weeks,and twice more — when the child is one-and-a-half-year-old and five.

The Hepatitis B vaccine is administered immediately after the birth and then at six,10 and 14 weeks. Hence,the pentavalent vaccine will also be administered three times,at six,10 and 14 weeks of the infant’s birth. The zero week dosage of Hepatitis B vaccine and the last two dosage of DPT will,however,continue to be a part of the immunisation programme.

“The benefit of the pentavalent vaccine is that it will include five vaccines in a single prick. This will not only save the logistics and manpower,but will also check dropout rates of children who are not regular with routine immunisation,” said Dr Chiranji Lal,Director General,Family Welfare,UP.

“We have already written to the Centre for permission to introduce the vaccine. As soon as the permission is granted,we can start using the vaccine in state,” he said.

The Centre approved introduction of the pentavalent vaccine in Kerala and Tamil Nadu in December 2011.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has also recommended the introduction of pentavalent vaccine in Universal Immunisation Programme,said the state’s proposal.

“We have the largest number of children in the country residing in UP. Pneumonia and meningitis caused due to Hib bacteria kills around one lakh children under five years of age annually in the country. The vaccine can prevent the morbidity and mortality caused due to Hib and improve the under 5 mortality rate of the state,” explained a senior health official associated with the immunisation programme in the state.

The vaccine,which is already available in Indian market,will be provided by the Centre for the routine immunisation programme,said the DG.

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