Bhubaneswar, October 7: The Odisha government introduced the 'Pentavalent Vaccine' in immunisation programme from today which is a five-in-one vaccine that will replace three doses of DPT vaccines and three of hepatitis B vaccine given before one year of age.
"The vaccine will reduce number of injections for infants from 6 to 3 in future, which means children would not have to go through painful moments due to prevailing practice of separate injections," said Nirmala Dei, Director of Family Welfare, here on Tuesday.
The vaccine protects infants from Haemophylus Influenza type B bacteria that causes meningitis and pneumonia as well as protecting them from Diptheria, whooping cough, tetanus and Hepatitis B. Globally, Hib infection kills more than 370,000 children annually of which 20 per cent are in India. The Pentavalent vaccine prevents around one third of pneumonia cases and 90 per cent of Hib meningitis cases.
The vaccine will be administered at six weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age for infants at regular immunisation sessions implemented across the State.
It will be made available in all government hospitals, sub-centres and immunisation session sites across Odisha.
Initially, it would be given to all infants who would be entitled for the first dose of immunisation between 6 weeks to 1 year of age.
According to State Health and Family Welfare department, those infants, who had been already immunised with DPT and Hepatitis B vaccines would continue to receive DPT and Hepatitis B for successive doses.
In addition to this, the State government on Tuesday said it would implement Mission Indradhanush Phase II, a special drive for immunising left out children. The immunisation drive will be rolled out on October 8 in 13 districts including Puri, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jagatsingpur, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Sonepur and Kalahandi to enhance the rate of full immunisation coverage in State. Under this mission, 1.24 lakh children will be covered.