Recently the government has launched pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on a pan-India level.
The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has launched the nationwide expansion of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under Universal Immunization Program (UIP).
Pneumococcal disease is the name given to a group of diseases caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae (also known as pneumococcus).
Pneumococcal disease can occur in multiple organ systems. It can lead to pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia/sepsis, sinusitis, bronchitis, and ear infections.
About 16 percent of child deaths in India are due to pneumonia.
Universal Immunization Program (UIP):
- It is one of the largest public health programs targeting approximately 26.7 million newborns and 29 million pregnant women on an annual basis.
- Under UIP, free immunization is being done against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Against 10 diseases at the national level:- diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, severe form of childhood tuberculosis, rotavirus diarrhea, hepatitis B and meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b and pneumonia.
- Against 2 diseases at the sub-national level – pneumococcal pneumonia and Japanese encephalitis. Of these, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine has been expanded nationally today. Earlier it was to be expanded in more phases only in selected districts of Bihar, Himachal. Whereas the Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine is provided only in endemic districts.
- A conjugate vaccine is a type of vaccine that combines a weak antigen with a strong antigen (antigen) as a carrier, so that the immune system shows a stronger response to the weakened antigen.
Source – The Hindu