The 'five in one' pentavalent vaccine under the universal immunization program of the Government of India is expected to be launched in Telangana on May 11. The program will be launched in Andhra Pradesh on May 7.
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana are the southern states of India. Source said that, after the formal launch, the health authorities will merge the pentavalent vaccine into the ongoing routine immunization program in both the States.
Around 6.31 lakh infants in Telangana and 8.36 lakh in Andhra Pradesh will benefit from the pentavalent vaccine annually.
Health experts from a host of agencies, including health departments from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, WHO, UNICEF and Indian Academy of Paediatrics on May 5 interacted with press persons on the pentavalent vaccines. Towards capacity building, the local health care workers including Anganwadi, ANC, nurses and even doctors in both the States have been given proper training.
"We are hoping that in Telangana, the vaccine will be formally launched between May 11 and 12 in Warangal. We are finalising the exact date," said Joint Director, Child Health and Immunisation (CHI), Dr. Jai Kumar. The JD, CHI for Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Joga Rao, said that Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu would formally launch the programme on May 7 from Tirupati.
The single shot of pentavalent vaccine will provide protection to infants from five life-threatening ailments, including Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT), Hepatitis B and pneumonia due to Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b). Since 2011, the Union Government has been introducing pentavalent vaccine in a phased manner in Kerala, Karnataka, Pondicherry, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Delhi.