Pentavalent Vaccine- Game changer for child healthcare

Pentavalent Vaccine- Game changer for child healthcare
Highlights

Pentavalent Vaccine- Game changer for child healthcare. On December 14, 2011, a two-and-half-month-old baby was administered the first pentavalent vaccine as part of the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) in India.

On December 14, 2011, a two-and-half-month-old baby was administered the first pentavalent vaccine as part of the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) in India. The event marked a change in the Indian government's policy on vaccines. The inclusion of pentavalent vaccine would replace the existing trivalent DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) with a new vaccine that will offer immunity against hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza Type B apart from the three mentioned above.

After the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that pentavalent vaccine be administered to every child in the world, the Government of India asked the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) to study the need for HepB and Hib vaccines in the Indian population. The NTAGI, in response, submitted a report in July 2008 recommending the introduction of Hib vaccine in all states as early as feasible and to adopt it under the UIP.

Development of indigenous pentavalent vaccine will impact Government of India’s (GOI) universal immunisation programme, as its introduction is widely expected to cause sharp fall in costs. A single shot of pentavalent vaccine provides protection to infants from five life threatening ailments including Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT), Hepatitis B and pneumonia due to Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b).

Since 2011, the GOI had introduced pentavalent vaccine in a phased manner in Kerala, Karnataka, Pondicherry, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi. Between 2014 and 2015, the vaccine will be introduced in 12 more states including TS and AP.

By K Naresh Kumar

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