Himachal Pradesh has got the Centre's nod for pneumonia vaccine, as the Union Ministry of Health has approved the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine under the universal immunization program.
Along with BIMARU (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) states, pneumonia vaccines will also be launched in Himachal Pradesh next year, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said.
The Ministry has approved introduction of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under Universal Immunisation Programme for the State. "We are expanding coverage of full immunization in Himachal Pradesh which is aimed at reducing child mortality. Himachal Pradesh will be among four other states where Pneumonia Vaccines will be introduced along with Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in a planned manner from 2017," said JP Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare.
Pneumonia is the leading cause of death and illness among children under five years of age in the world. It results in nearly 120 million cases a year. In India, pneumonia caused nearly 1,75,000 child deaths in 2013. Approximately one out of every five children who die globally, die from pneumonia.