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Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

  • IASbaba
  • August 28, 2021
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Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

Part of: Prelims and GS – II – Health

In news: Recently, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has launched Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) immunisation drive for infants.

  • Earlier in December 2020, India’s first fully indigenously developed pneumococcal conjugate vaccine “Pneumosil” was launched.

About the vaccine

  • It prevents pneumococcal disease. It can protect both children and adults from pneumococcal disease.
  • The vaccine is a mix of several bacteria of the pneumococci family, which are known to cause pneumonia—hence ‘conjugate’ is included in the name of the vaccine.
  • Conjugate vaccines are made using a combination of two different components.

What is Pneumococcal disease?

  • Pneumococcal disease is a name for any infection caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus. 
  • Most people carry pneumococcus in their nose and throat, where the bacteria do not cause any symptoms.However, sometimes the bacteria grow and spread to other parts of the body and that’s when people become sick.
  • Besides pneumonia, pneumococcal bacteria can also cause: 
    • Ear infections.
    • Sinus infections.
    • Meningitis (infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord).
    • Bacteremia (infection of the blood).

What is Universal Immunization Programme?

  • It was launched in 1985 to prevent mortality and morbidity in children and pregnant women against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • Under UIP, free of cost vaccination is provided against twelve vaccine-preventable diseases i.e. Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea.
  • The programme is one of the largest health programmes in the world. Despite being operational for many years, UIP has been able to fully immunize only 65% of children under 1 year of age.

News source: TH 

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