Raipur, June 16
Children across Chhattisgarh will now be provided Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) free of cost under the routine vaccination program in the state. This vaccine will protect children from many diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, septicemia, sinusitis, otitis media (ear infection) caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
Babies will be given three doses at the age of six weeks, 14 weeks and nine months. This vaccine is available in the market at a very expensive rate.
Addressing a virtual program, Health Minister T S Singhdeo launched PCV vaccination in the state under the routine vaccination program. He further said that inclusion of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in routine vaccination programme will protect children up to five years of age from diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Moreover, the move is going to help in decreasing child mortality rate in the state.
Due to the high cost of PCV in the market, common people had limited access to it, said Singhdeo, adding that with the inclusion of this vaccine in the routine vaccination programme, it will be available to children at free of cost.
Singhdeo pointed that 13 per cent of the children in the country who die under the age of five suffer from pneumonia. And 15 percent of these children die from pneumococcal pneumonia. One lakh five thousand children died due to pneumococcal pneumonia while the figure was 53000 in 2015.
Meanwhile, the health minister directed the officials concerned to make sure that maximum number of babies gets the PCV.