Gandhinagar, Wednesday: Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Bhupendra Patel today launched the state-wide Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) drive from the Health and Wellness Center at Alhadpura in the tribal area of Chhotaudepur district. Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) started from today will provide health protection to children against Pneumonia and Meningitis.
Under the universal vaccination program by Government of India, vaccination will be given free of cost at government hospitals-health centers- sub-centers-health and wellness centers.
The vaccine, which is usually available in the private sector at a cost of Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,500, will be provided free of cost by the government to the children under this program. A total of 36 lakh PCV doses will be given to an estimated 12 lakh children in the state. First dose of the vaccine at 6 weeks of birth, the second dose at 14 weeks and the third booster dose at 9 months will be given.
Pneumococcal pneumonia is a respiratory disease. Cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and sore throat are the main symptoms of this disease. If the infant is seriously ill with the disease, he or she may have difficulty eating- drinking and may even die.
Pneumococcal infections can cause serious illnesses such as meningitis, septicemia, and pneumonia, as well as mild but more common diseases such as sinusitis. About 1 lakh children under the age of five in 2010 and about 53 thousand in 2015 died due to pneumonia in India. PCV will prove be helpful in reducing mortality in children under 5 years of age.
PCV vaccination prevents pneumococcal disease and death in children. Children under 2 years are at risk of serious pneumococcal disease but the highest risk is in children under 1 year. PCV vaccination will not only protect the infant but also reduce the risk of pneumococcal disease in the child.
Gujarat has been declared polio free in 2007 following a comprehensive campaign to give pulse polio vaccine to children.
Now under the visionary leadership of Gujarat CM Mr. Patel, the universal program of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination will be carried out to protect complete protection to newborns in the state from pneumonia and meningitis and Gujarat will also be at the forefront of child healthcare.
Source: Information Department, Gujarat