Universal Immunisation Programme Current Affairs

Government launches second phase of Measles-rubella vaccination campaign

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the second phase of measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign to reduce measles morbidity and mortality,

The second phase of campaign will cover 8 states and union territories namely Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and Uttarakhand.

Key Facts

The Health Ministry has initiated MR vaccination campaign in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years in a phased manner in the country. It was started across the country under the universal immunisation programme (UIP).

The campaign aims to rapidly build up immunity for both measles and rubella diseases in the community to knock out the disease. Under the second phase, more than three crore children are expected to be covered in these 8 states.

Under this campaign, MR vaccine has replaced two doses of measles vaccine provided in the routine immunisation programme in these states. For those children who have already received such vaccination, the campaign dose will provide additional boosting to them.

Measles-rubella (MR)

Measles is one of the important causes of death in children. It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person. It can also make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and brain infection. Symptoms of the infection can include cataracts and deafness. It can also affect the heart and the brain.

Rubella disease is commonly known as German Measles (or three-day measles). It is symptomatically similar to measles. It is generally a mild infection, but has serious consequences if infection occurs in pregnant women, causing congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (cataract, glaucoma), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation), ears (hearing loss) and heart defects.

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New Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine against Pneumonia Launched

Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda has launched new Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, PCV, for Pneumonia at Lal Bahadur Shastri Medical College Hospital in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. The vaccine is a part of government’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). Henceforth, the vaccine will be administered under routine immunization programme. The vaccine would help in controlling pneumonia and reducing the child mortality rate. In India, more than 1 lakh children die of pneumonia every year.

The vaccine will provide protection against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria which results in pneumonia. This is the twelfth disease for which the Health Ministry has launched a vaccine. The vaccine Pneumococcal Conjugate protects against Streptococcus pneumonia and diseases such as pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and meningitis. PCV was first introduced in 2000.

The whole of Himachal Pradesh as well as six districts of Uttar Pradesh and seventeen districts of Bihar will be covered under the first phase of the immunisation programme.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is caused by inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs. It is most commonly due to an infection. It is a leading cause of death for children under the age of five years around the world. It may be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The most common bacterial type that causes pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae. Signs and symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

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