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2.95 lakh lives can be saved with Pentavalent vaccine

2.95 lakh lives can be saved with Pentavalent vaccine
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Vaccines are the most cost-effective healthcare interventions. Money spent on a childhood vaccination not only helps save a life, but greatly reduces spending on future healthcare, said Dr P Sudarshan Reddy, paediatrician, Niloufer Hospital, at a media workshop conducted by UNICEF, in joint partnership with the State governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on ‘Pentavalent Vaccine’ at Hotel Green Park here on Tuesday.

Hyderabad: Vaccines are the most cost-effective healthcare interventions. Money spent on a childhood vaccination not only helps save a life, but greatly reduces spending on future healthcare, said Dr P Sudarshan Reddy, paediatrician, Niloufer Hospital, at a media workshop conducted by UNICEF, in joint partnership with the State governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on ‘Pentavalent Vaccine’ at Hotel Green Park here on Tuesday.


The speakers for the day were Dr Vivek Singh, Indian Institute of Public Health, Sanjeev Upadhaya, Health Specialist, UNICEF, Dr Arun Kumar, WHO and many others. “Twenty three per cent of children under the age of five are succumbing to the deadly pneumonia in India. It kills nearly 2.95 lakh children annually. It is like a jumbo jet full of children crashing every eight hours, whereas on other hand, in developed countries due to the pentavalent vaccine, the disease has decreased by 99 per cent,” said Dr Vijaya Kiran, Malla Reddy Medical College for Women.


This disease is commonly seen in unvaccinated children and people with a weak immune system. A safe and effective vaccine is available to prevent HI B disease: from six injections to three injections. Additional protection is provided with this vaccine against Haemophilus Influenzae B, which causes pneumonia and meningitis in children, thus addressing under five morbidity and mortality and better compliance of beneficiaries.


A single injection ensures vaccination for five antigens.Pentavalent vaccine is a combination of DPT, Hepatitis B and HI B vaccines and protects against diptheria, pertussis, tetanus and others. Three doses are provided at six, 10 and 14 weeks of age.The drug costs around Rs 1,300 per vial, but the government’s subsidised rate is Rs 104. The drug will be launched on Thursday in Tirupati by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and the same would be released on May 11 or 12.


“Making the vaccination safe is as important as vaccination, for this we specially have reporting of Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI). AEFI is any untoward medical occurrence which follows immunisation. There is a vaccine quality defect-related reaction, immunisation error-related reaction, coincidental event or others. To ensure the investigation of an AEFI at all levels, we have the AEFI surveillance. Eighty thousand professionals, Asha Workers and Anganwadi workers are being trained by the governments to manage the AEFI reports and deal with them efficiently,” said Dr Vivek Singh.

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