State wants 5-in-1 vaccine
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Pentavalent shot UP has sent proposal to Centre for nod
The department of family welfare in UP is planning to introduce a pentavalent vaccine for the first time in the state's routine immunisation programme.
The vaccine, as the name suggests, will prevent newborns against five life-threatening diseases — Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Whooping Cough (Pertussis), Tetanus and Haemophilus Influenza Type B by just a single prick. The proposal for the new vaccine has been sent to the Centre for approval.
As of now, infants in UP are immunised against Tuberculosis (BCG), Diphtheria, Whooping Cough, Tetanus (DPT), Measles, Polio, Hepatitis B and Japanese Encephalitis (in 35 affected districts) through routine immunisation programme.
With the introduction of the pentavalent vaccine, the infant will also be protected against Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib), a bacteria known to cause meningitis and pneumonia amongst children below the age of five years in the country.
The pentavalent vaccine will replace the DPT vaccine as well as Hepatitis B vaccine from the routine immunisation programme.
Till date, the vaccines for DPT are administered three times in the first year of a child's life, at six, 10 and 14 weeks, and twice more — when the child is one-and-a-half-year-old and five.
The Hepatitis B vaccine is administered immediately after the birth and then at six, 10 and 14 weeks. Hence, the pentavalent vaccine will also be administered three times, at six, 10 and 14 weeks of the infant's birth. The zero week dosage of Hepatitis B vaccine and the last two dosage of DPT will, however, continue to be a part of the immunisation programme.
"The benefit of the pentavalent vaccine is that it will include five vaccines in a single prick. This will not only save the logistics and manpower, but will also check dropout rates of children who are not regular with routine immunisation," said Dr Chiranji Lal, Director General, Family Welfare, UP.
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