Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday launched Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) immunisation drive for infants at his camp office here.
Mr. Jagan said TD (tetanus-diphtheria) vaccine was being administered to about nine lakh pregnant women every year and 8.50 lakh children were immunised for 12 other vaccine-preventable diseases. Six lakh routine immunisation sessions were conducted annually. This Herculean task of vaccinating children across the State was done with the help of 17,000 ANMs.
He said as part of the routine immunisation, the government was providing vaccines for Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, polio (oral polio vaccine and inactivated polio vaccine), Japanese encephalitis, measles, Rubella, DPT, tetanus toxoid and diphtheria toxoid. Apart from them, pentavalent and Rotavirus vaccines were also administered. He pointed out that the Cebntre had introduced PCV in 2017 in Bihar, MP, UP, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Andhra Pradesh was included in the PCV drive this year for reducing Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and under-five mortality (U5) which were important child health indicators.
Mr. Jagan said pneumonia had been a major cause of infant and child mortality. It was estimated that the disease affected around 16 lakh children and caused the death of nearly 68,700 children aged between 1 and 59 months across the country in the year 2015.
Mr. Jagan appealed to the government's health team and line departments to ensure that the PCV vaccine was administered in three doses at the age of one-and-a-half month (6 weeks) and three-and-half months (14 weeks) and in the ninth month.
Wastage of PCV should be curbed as it was an expensive vaccine, the Chief Minister added.