Govt to make pentavalent vaccine part of NIP soon


The ministry of health and family welfare is all set to imbibe pentavalent vaccine (PV) into the national immunization programme (NIP). Though the PV was introduced in Goa in 2005, it was limited to five blocks and expanded to the entire state in 2011.
Dr Vandana Patankar, state immunization officer of the directorate of health services, while speaking at a workshop on Monday, said that with PV being made part of the NIP, the state government will not have to bear cost of the vaccine.
Explaining the benefits, Patankar said the vaccine provides protection against five life-threatening diseases – diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b). The vaccine is likely to cover 22,000 children (birth to one year).
The DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus) and hepatitis B are already part of the national routine immunization programme. The protection against Hib is a new addition. Together the combination is called PV.
Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) is a bacterium that causes severe pneumonia, meningitis and other life-threatening conditions in children below five years of age.
Hib not only endangers a child's life but also can leave the child with long-term neurological problems such as deafness, brain damage, co-ordination related problems and epilepsy.
Dr Sanjiv Dalvi, director of health services, said, "Pneumonia is the leading cause for under-five child mortality in India. This is an important step by the government to ensure that preventable deaths due to pneumonia and meningitis caused by Hib are addressed." [TOI]