Odisha health minister launches PCV immunisation programme

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 30 (PTI) Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das on Wednesday launched a statewide immunisation programme of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) for infants.

Each child will require three doses of the vaccine the first dose at six weeks of age, the second at 14 weeks, and a booster dose at nine months of age to get full protection from pneumonia which is one of the leading causes of death among children below five years.

Speaking at the programme, the health minister said, Odisha has always given priority to providing quality health services for children to rapidly reduce both infant and under-5 morbidity and mortality.

'Even during this COVID-19 pandemic other health services like routine immunisation, maternal and child health services are continuing due to the effort of health care workers,' Das said.

'The new vaccine will benefit eight lakh infants every year & protect the children from pneumonia and meningitis,' the Health Department tweeted.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health) P K Mohapatra had asked all district collectors, municipal commissioners, and chief district medical and public health offices (CDM & PHOs) to make arrangements for the smooth conduct of the vaccination drive.

Presenting the Union Budget for 2021-22 on February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that pneumococcal vaccines, a 'Made in India' product and limited to just five states then, would be rolled out across the country.

'It will save over 55,000 childrens lives each year,' Sitharaman had said. PTI HMB AAM MM MM

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