An infant being administered pneumococcal vaccine in Srinagar on Saturday. [Photo/ANI]
An infant being administered pneumococcal vaccine in Srinagar on Saturday. [Photo/ANI]

Pneumococcal vaccination programme launched for children in J-K

ANI | Updated: May 15, 2021 17:23 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], May 15 (ANI): Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Deparment of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday launched an immunisation programme for the children in the union territory.
The parents of children actively participated in the drive and welcomed the initiative supported by the Government of India under the universal immunisation programme.
Ashiq Nazir, a parent told ANI, "Initiatives like this from the government are a very good step towards children's health."

"This is a very good initiative to boost children's health. We are greatful to the government for conducting such a drive for our children," said another parent Farooq Bhat.

Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) is one of the largest public health programmes targeting close of 2.67 crore newborns and 2.9 crore pregnant women annually. It is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions and largely responsible for reduction of vaccine preventable under-5 mortality rate.
Speaking to ANI about the vaccination programme, Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Department of Jammu and Kashmir said, "This is a new vaccine that has been included in the universal immunisation programme. Children are administered 10 types of vaccines through this programme. One more vaccine has been added to this programme, which is called Pneumococcal vaccine. It protects children from pneumonia. This vaccine has been launched in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time. Three doses are administered as part of this vaccine. These doses are given at different time intervals."

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) was launched in May 2017 for reducing infant mortality and morbidity caused by pneumococcal pneumonia. It has already been introduced in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, 19 districts of Uttar Pradesh and 18 districts of Rajasthan.
Dulloo further stated that around 16 per cent of children aged under five years die due every year due to pneumonia.
"This vaccine has been introduced with the aim of stopping those deaths. This is a major development in the state and a great initiative by the Government of India. We appeal to all the children and their parents to come forward for this vaccination programme. The first dose is administered to the children after 45 days of their birth," said Dulloo. (ANI)