Brain fever project for Madurai sanctioned

Shastry V. Mallady

Vaccination for children of one to 15 years

Vaccination likely to be done early next year

Single dose vaccine will give life-long protection

MADURAI: The Health Ministry has given its nod to support the proposed comprehensive vaccination against “brain fever” for children in Madurai and Tiruvarur districts.

“At a meeting held in New Delhi this week, the State Health officials had sought the support to implement the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccination, known as brain fever, for children of 1 to 15 years,” an official here told The Hindu on Sunday.

A similar vaccination project was already launched in three districts - Virudhunagar, Cuddalore and Villupuram.

According to officials, the Directorate of Public Health had asked the Ministry’s support to carry out JE vaccination in eight districts “but clearance was given only to Madurai and Tiruvarur districts.” The vaccination is likely to be done early next year after receiving the vaccine supply.

“Since there is a constraint in procuring vaccine, which has to be imported, the Government of India is limiting it only to two districts now,” a DPH official said.

The single dose vaccine would give life-long protection to children against brain fever that is caused by “carriers” originating in paddy fields and pig-rearing centres.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Director of Health Services, A. Palanichamy, said that brain fever cases were reported in Madurai district till couple of years ago and hence the vaccination is aimed at ensuring complete eradication.

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