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New Delhi: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday launched the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) across the country under the Universal Immunization Programme, as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

The union minister also released communication and awareness packages on PCV to create widespread mass awareness. These communication packages will be shared with all States/UTs for further adaptation and utilization. The government said that it is for the first time in the country that PCV will be available for universal use.

“Pneumonia is a leading cause of death among children under-5 years old, globally and in India. Pneumonia caused by pneumococcus is the most common cause of severe pneumonia in children. In India around 16% of deaths in Children occur due to pneumonia. The nationwide rollout of PCV will reduce child mortality by around 60%," said the health minister adding that the launch of PCV will further ensure healthy growth and development of our children, apart from reducing child mortality.

The health minister highlighted that creating awareness regarding the vaccine is a vital component. “The objective of the vaccine is to save the lives of our children and this would be possible if we run a successful awareness campaign across the country," said Mandaviya.

Universal Immunization Programme is one of the largest public health programmes targeting close to 26.7 million newborns and 29 million pregnant women annually. Under UIP, immunization is being provided free of cost against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases.

 

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