Pentavalent vaccination programme launched in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to bring down infant mortality rate (IMR) in Odisha, the state government, for the first time, launched Pentavalent immunisation programme on Wednesday.

The Pentavalent vaccine is five individual vaccines conjugated in one intended to actively protect infant children from 5 potentially deadly diseases like Haemophilus Influenza type B (Hib), that causes meningitis, pneumonia and otitis, whooping cough (or Pertussis), tetanus, hepatitis B and diphtheria.

Infants under one year will get six injections in place of nine and the added benefit would be that they would be vaccinated against Hib.

The new vaccine will replace diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT) and hepatitis B vaccine doses which were given at 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 months after birth of an infant.

Talking to the media here, Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said children within the age group of six months to six years would be given the first dose of Pentavalent vaccine.

He also informed that the state government would launch a special immunisation drive in the second phase under Mission Indradhanush scheme in 13 districts from tomorrow.

It is worthwhile here to mention that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had launched Mission Indradhanush on December 25, 2014 with the aim of expanding immunization coverage to all children across India by year 2020.