Five-in-one pentavalent vaccine has been launched by the Odisha government in its routine immunization program. The vaccine will reduce the number of injections administered from six to three.
State health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak formally inaugurated the Central immunization program at the Indian Medical Association. All officials of the department were present on the occasion.
The vaccine will protect infants from five life threatening diseases like diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza type B (HiB) bacteria that causes pneumonia and meningitis.
"Getting children immunized by pentavalent vaccine will boost immunization rates in the State and bring down child mortality. It will be administered at six weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age for infants under routine immunization. The vaccine will be available in all Government hospitals, sub-centers and immunization session sites across Odisha," said Dr Pramila Dei, Director, Family Welfare.
"Newer vaccines like injectable inactivated polio, rotavirus and measles-rubella will soon be included in the immunization program of the State" Dei added.
The second phase of the Mission Indradhanush has been initiated across 13 districts of Puri, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Balangir, Sonepur and Kalahandi. Phase-2 will have intensified immunization for seven days every month from October to January, 2016. The first round will be held on October 8, 9, 10, 13, 15, 16 and 17.
Odisha has an under-five child mortality of 66 per 1000 live births of which 15 to 20 percent can be attributed to pneumonia. HiB accounts for one-third of pneumonia cases among children and 90 percent of meningitis cases.
Pentavalent vaccine has been introduced in the routine immunization programs in states in a phased manner. It is now part of the vaccination schedule in Kerala, Karnataka, Pondicherry, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh.