Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine launched in Nagaland

Principal Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr Neikhrielie Khimiao launched the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) at Primary Health Centre, Kohima Village on June 11. (Morung Photo)

Principal Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr Neikhrielie Khimiao launched the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) at Primary Health Centre, Kohima Village on June 11. (Morung Photo)

Morung Express News 
Kohima | June 11

Principal Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr Neikhrielie Khimiao while launching the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) for children below the age of 5 at Primary Health Centre, Kohima Village today informed that Nagaland was among the early batches to receive the PCV vaccines. 

He said the State government has taken special initiative in ensuring that the newly developed vaccine was made available to general population. 

Pneumococcal disease, a respiratory infection common among infants and young children was highly viral and claims countless precious lives every year, he said. However, with the introduction of a new vaccine, the virus will be eradicated, the director added while expressing optimism.

PCV was introduced in the country in 2017 with the first batch of states including Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

A health worker administering PCV to the first beneficiary in Zunheboto district. (Photo Courtesy: CMO Office Zunheboto)

The second batch of states to receive the vaccine this year includes Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and Nagaland.

Vaccines play crucial role in protecting us from various diseases and with the advancement of modern science and technology, many viral diseases have been eradicated which otherwise have had fatal implications upon populace across the globe, Dr Neikhrielie stated.

He also pointed out that contagious diseases like small pox would wipe out an entire village or its outbreak would force people to flee into jungles and return only after the epidemic was over.

However, efficacy of vaccines has led to eradication of diseases. 

In this line, he said vaccination or getting vaccinated poses as the only solution even in the case of the Corona Virus pandemic. Towards this, Dr Neikhrielie encouraged all those eligible to get vaccinated since Centre has now announced to provide the vaccine free of cost and at the same time adhere to the SOPs and follow COVID Appropriate Behaviours (CAB) put in place.

He also urged the people to be careful and be prepared since a third wave is being reported. 

State immunization Officer (SIO), Health & Family Welfare, Dr Ritu Thur who was chairing the launching programme spoke about the newly launched vaccine.

He disclosed that pneumococcal pneumonia was the second disease with the highest morbidity and mortality rate among the age group next to diarrhoea killing 53,300 children under 5 years in the country every year. 

The new injectable vaccine PVC is available in liquid form and administered in 3 doses with the first dose to be given at 1½ month, second dose at 3½ months and the third or booster dose at 9 months.

Earlier in the programme, the invocation was pronounced by Khedi Baptist Church, Associate Pastor, Kevidzenyü while DIO, Kohima Dr Rupert Peseyie proposed the vote of thanks.

Districts join PCV launch
Districts across Nagaland also joined the launch of PCV on June 11.

In Dimapur, the vaccine was launched by the district’s Chief Medical Officer Dr I Moatemjen.

Dr Rebecca, District Programme Officer (DPO) for UIP/RCH, informed that PCV is being introduced in the routine immunization under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) to protect children against pneumococcal diseases caused by a bacterium called pneumococcus.

Pneumococcal infection can lead to serious invasive diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia, and septicemia, as well as milder but more common illness such as sinusitis and otitis media, the DPO informed.

The risk of serious pneumococcal disease is highest in the first year of life and remains high throughout the first 24 months of life. PCV vaccination will prevent diseases and deaths due to pneumococcal infection in children and also reduce the risk of pneumococcal disease among others in the community, she added.

PCV is an expensive vaccine in the private sector, however under UIP, PCV will be given free of cost to all eligible infants in the fixed and outreach immunization sessions. PCV will be given to infants in three doses; at 6 weeks, 14 weeks, and 9 months of age.

In India, under UIP, PCV has already been introduced in a phased manner since 2017 in 5 States. The PCV vaccine is safe and has been well-accepted. Severe adverse reactions attributable to the vaccine are extremely rare. Mild side effects such as pain at the injection site and fever can occur, the DPO further stated.

All health workers in the district have been trained to administer the PCV under Routine Immunization.

Kiphire: Along with the rest of the districts, Kiphire district launched Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), under the aegis of Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), at District Hospital, Kiphire on June 11.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr K Pewezo Khalo, DPO (RCH/UIP) underscored the importance of PCV vaccine and appealed every parent to bring their child and receive the vaccine from the nearest health centre when a child attains 6 weeks, 14 weeks, and 9 months of age.

Further, he urged field workers to utilise the vaccine in order to protect vulnerable children from pneumonia and meningitis.

It was informed that PCV has been made available to all the beneficiaries in the district, free of cost, following its launch. The programme was attended by the staff of District Hospital, UIP, WHO, UNDP, including representatives from NGOs.

Zunheboto: The Pneumoccocal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) was launched at Khuwaboto SC, Zunheboto on June 11. Dr K Akaho Sema, Deputy CMO, Zunheboto gave a keynote address and launched the PCV vaccine.

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