The Union Health Ministry has approved the introduction of pneumonia vaccines in Himachal Pradesh along with four other states under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). The pneumonia vaccines will be introduced in a planned manner from 2017 in Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Union Health Minister J P Nadda said with its introduction, a new milestone will be achieved in expanding the coverage of full immunisation in Himachal Pradesh.
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“The Health Ministry approved introduction of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under Universal Immunisation Programme.
“Himachal Pradesh will be among states where pneumonia vaccines will be introduced along with Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in a planned manner from 2017,” said an official statement.
Nadda said this will give a unique opportunity to the state to demonstrate the combined effect of Diarrhoea Vaccine (Rotavirus) and Pneumonia Vaccine (PCV) reduction intervention on the overall child mortality and morbidity in the State.
“I am sure Himachal Pradesh will be hugely benefited with this new PCV Vaccine. We want our children to be healthy and this intervention is one step forward in ensuring that,” he said.
The Health Ministry had earlier this year introduced Rotavirus Vaccine to combat diarrhoea in the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha.
“Adding this life-saving vaccine such as PCV and Rotavirus to our immunization program will not only improve the health of our children but will also reduce hospitalisation and other conditions associated with diarrhoea and pneumonia such as malnutrition, delayed physical and mental development among children.
“Reduced hospitalisation reduces the economic burden on the family and the health cost burden on the country,” Nadda added.