by Karishma Abhishek on  November 27, 2020 at 12:05 AM Drug News
Fiji's National Vaccine Program Lowers Childhood Deaths
Fiji's national vaccine program against pneumonia and rotavirus has demonstrated reduced morbidity and mortality as per research at The University of Melbourne in collaboration with the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services, published in the journal The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific.

Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes accumulation of fluids in the lungs. Rotavirus is a virus that causes contagious infections leading to severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and even death if untreated, especially in infants and young children.

In 2012, the Fiji Government had introduced a rotavirus vaccine into the national immunization schedule and also a routine infant immunization schedule for ten-valent pneumococcal conjugate (PCV10) vaccine of only three primary doses.

The study analyzed the admission rates at three Fiji public tertiary hospitals for children presenting with pneumonia from January 2007 - December 2017. The hospital admissions for all-cause pneumonia had fallen for children aged 24-59 months, just five years after the vaccine was introduced.

Vaccine trial:

The administration of pneumonia and rotavirus vaccine greatly reduced the illness and death among people, making Fiji the first Pacific island country to bring such a change.

"It showed sustained effectiveness, working in vaccinated children and helping to prevent other members of their household falling ill." "Our findings are likely to be helpful for decision making regarding PCV introduction in other low and middle-income countries. Most importantly, for the past four years, these vaccines have been fully funded by the Fiji government", said Professor Fiona Russell, Lead researcher of Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the University of Melbourne.

The study moreover emphasizes on the importance of vaccines in drastically diminishing the effects of viruses such as COVID-19.

Source: Medindia

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