SHILLONG, Oct 14: With an aim to reduce infant mortality and morbidity, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare along with Government of Meghalaya is all set to officially launch two new vaccines under the Routine Immunization programme on October 15 at Ganesh Das Hospital in Shillong.
“In this program we have around seven vaccines which are to be given to infants and children in order to protect them from diseases,” Dr. PD Khain, Deputy Director MCH&FW Directorate of Health and Services told newsmen here on Wednesday.
According to her, there have been many cases in the state in which a child dies because proper vaccine was not given.
She informed that two new vaccine mely IPV (Ictivated Poliovirus Vaccine) and Pentavalent Vaccine which was previously not available in the state will also be introduces in the immunization program.
“These two new vaccines which are to be launched from October 15 are to be given to infants along with the 3rd dose of OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) drops. This IPV vaccine would be given as a one-time single dose only,” she said.
She said that the Pentavalent Vaccine is to be given to infants in place of the existing DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis & Tetanus) vaccine and Hepatitis B vaccines.
She said that the IPV introduction is part of a global strategy required in the process to replace the existing Trivalent OPV (that contains vaccine against all three types of poliovirus- PI, P2 and P3) to the Bivalent OPV (that contains vaccines against PI and P3).
Stressing on the importance of introducing Pentavalent vaccine in the state, she said that the introduction of this vaccine is going to be very helpful for the infants because the number of injections required would be reduced, and it would also protect the infants against HIV disease.
She further informed that the currently, the coverage with routine immunization is only about 50 percent in Meghalaya but to get the full benefit from the new vaccines, the coverage must be around 90%.