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Pneumococcal 13-Valent Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)

Pneumococcal 13-Valent Conjugate Vaccine (PCV):

The government has launched a nationwide expansion of Pneumococcal 13-valent Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) as a part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.

  • It was for the first time in the country that PCV would be available for universal use.
  • PCV13 protects against 13 types of bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease.
  • Pneumonia caused by pneumococcus is the most common cause of severe pneumonia in children.
  • Pneumonia was a leading cause of death among children under five, globally and in India. Around 16% of deaths in children occur due to pneumonia in India.
  • Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria. 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.

Universal Immunization Programme:

  • It was launched 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.

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