The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has started the vaccination of children with the recently introduced pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) into the national immunization program from Monday. The vaccine has been recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) for all countries including India and its purpose is to check the mortality rates under 5 years of children due to pneumonia. The civic body has received a total of 15,000 doses.
Pneumococcal disease is caused by the Streptococcus pneumonia virus and is the leading cause of pneumonia in children under 5 years of age. Pneumococcal disease is most prevalent in children up to one year of age and is more severe in children up to 2 years of age.
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine has now been included in the universal immunization program to reduce the risk of the disease in children.
NMMC had already completed training and other preparations for PCV vaccination and Soon after it received the government order, immunization of children against Streptococcus pneumonia virus was started in NMMC area on Monday.
The first dose of PCV vaccine will be given to a six-week-old or one-and-a-half-month-old baby after birth, the second dose will be given to a 14-week-old baby and the third booster dose will be given to a nine-month-old baby.
“Children as well as adults with a weakened immune system are at higher risk of contracting the disease. Children under the age of 5 need special care. Children with malnutrition and lack of breastfeeding, as well as children with HIV infection and kidney disease, have a higher risk of developing the disease. Therefore, the PCV vaccine will protect children from this disease,” said an official from NMMC’s Health Department.
“Under the Universal Vaccination Program, PCV vaccination to protect children from pneumococcal diseases have been fully prepared by NMMC and free vaccination has been started as soon as the government order is received. However, all parents in the NMMC area should protect their six-week-old baby from pneumococcal disease by giving the first dose of the vaccine,” said civic chief Abhijeet Bangar.