July 12, 2021 11:59:31 pm
The Maharashtra government introduced the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in the routine immunisation programme on Monday. The state aims to vaccinate 19 lakh infants, health department officials said.
Introduced in the Universal Immunisation Programme in a phased manner from June 2017 in select districts of Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the programme has expanded to cover more states.
Previously, it was available in the private sector, putting it beyond the reach of most of the population.
Pneumococcus is the leading cause of bacterial pneumonia, which is a major cause of death in children under five years of age. PCV has been proven to be an effective tool to protect children from pneumococcal pneumonia, which is the leading cause of severe pneumonia in children. PCV is provided free of cost under routine immunisation across the country.
Dr Sachin Edke, Pune district immunisation officer, said vaccination requires three doses – at 1.5 months, 3.5 months and 9 months of age. The annual target in Pune for 2021-22 is 77,847 children in Pune rural, 60,900 in Pune Municipal Corporation area and 34,591 in Pimpri-Chinchwad area, Edke said.
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