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Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

  • 20 Jan 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The government is planning for the nationwide rollout of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).

  • According to government estimates, a countrywide rollout of PCV would require about 50% of the budget of UIP (minus shared costs such as staff salary, establishment costs, etc).
    • PCV is the costliest vaccine in the UIP basket that currently covers only about 50% of the 26 million birth cohort in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
    • PCV was first brought into the UIP basket in 2017 but cost concerns have been among the reasons for its still-partial rollout.
  • The cost challenge for India’s immunisation programme is set to mount further as Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) is set to withdraw its support for India from 2022.
    • GAVI is an international organisation which brings together public and private sectors to create equal access to vaccines for children.

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

  • Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) prevents pneumococcal disease.
  • The vaccine is a mix of several bacteria of the pneumococci family, which are known to cause pneumonia — hence ‘conjugate’ is included in the name of the vaccine.

Pneumococcal Disease

  • Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
  • Symptoms: These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs. Pneumococcal bacteria are one of the most common causes of pneumonia.
  • Vulnerable Population: Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but children under 2 years of age, people with certain medical conditions, adults 65 years or older, and cigarette smokers are at the highest risk.
  • Status in India :
    • In 2010, the annual incidence of severe pneumococcal pneumonia in India was estimated to be 4.8 episodes per 1,000 children younger than 5 years.
    • The top five contributors to India’s pneumococcal pneumonia burden in terms of the number of cases and deaths were Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.

Universal Immunization Programme

  • Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) was launched by the government in 1985, to prevent mortality and morbidity in children and pregnant women against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • Under UIP free of cost vaccination is provided against twelve vaccine-preventable diseases i.e. Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea.
  • The programme is one of the largest health programmes in the world. Despite being operational for many years, UIP has been able to fully immunize only 65% of children under 1 year of age.

Source: IE

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