Gujarat has been declared polio-free since 2008 following a comprehensive campaign to vaccinate children against pulse polio. Now, with the help of the state government’s new initiative, complete protection to newborns from pneumonia and meningitis will also be provided. On October 20, 2021, Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendra Patel, inaugurated the state-wide vaccination programme for Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine – PCV, at the Health and Wellness Centre at Alhadpura in the tribal area of Chhotaudepur district.
Under the universal vaccination program by the Government of India, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-PCV will be given free of cost from government hospitals-health centres-sub-centres-health and wellness centres. The vaccine, which is available in the private sector at an estimated cost of Rs 3,000 to Rs 500, will be available free of cost at all such vaccination centres.
The Gujarat state government plans to provide 2 lakh doses of vaccine free of cost to an estimated 12 lakh children in the state every year. Infants will be given the first dose at 6 weeks of birth – the second dose at 12 weeks and the third booster dose after 6 months.
An important health care service ‘yajna’ will cover the bright future of the country and Gujarat as part of the universal vaccination campaign from pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-PCV has begun from Wednesday 20th October.
In India, about 1 lakh children under the age of five died in 2010 due to pneumococcal pneumonia and in 2014, about 4,000 children died. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine – PCV will help reduce mortality in children under 5 years of age.