The Health Ministry has given its nod to introduce pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) under Universal Immunisation Programme in Himachal Pradesh. With this, Himachal Pradesh will be among four other states (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh) that will introduce pneumonia vaccines in a planned manner from 2017.
“We have achieved a new milestone towards expanding the coverage of full immunisation in the state aimed at reducing child mortality,” said J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare.
The Minister further said that 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 benefitted with this new PCV vaccine. We want our children to be healthy and this intervention is one step forward in ensuring that,” added Nadda.
It may be recalled that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had earlier this year introduced rotavirus vaccine to combat diarrhoea in the four states of the country – Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha.
“Adding this life-saving vaccine such as PCV and rotavirus to our immunisation 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,” commented Nadda.