RAWALPINDI: Punjab government has planned to introduce pneumococcal vaccine across the province aimed at protecting children from 10 lethal diseases like pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, febrile bacteraemia and arthritis.
"The vaccine campaign will be launched in all districts of the province simultaneously on September 15 in which 1,55,000 children up to age of one year will be immunized," Executive District Officer (EDO) Health Rawalpindi Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal told media.
He said the Rawalpindi District Health Department has formed 1,360 mobile teams and established 52 health centers to ensure administering the vaccine to children in every nook and corner of the Pindi district.
District Programme Coordinator Dr Javed Iqbal Chaudhry said the Pneumococcal disease could cause pneumonia, meningitis sepsis, febrile bacteraemia, arthritis, peritonitis and osteomyelitis. It causes more than half a million death in different parts of the world.
He said a supportive vaccine namely "Pentavalent" will be injected in right thigh along with the Pneumococcal (PCV 10) in left thigh.
The Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV 10), will be given to children as a routine vaccination, which was also effective in fighting HIV, he added.
Expressing the hope that the campaign would bring down the mortality rate, Dr Javed Iqbal highlighted the importance of hygiene and balanced diet for children to prevent them from lethal diseases.
The vaccine, which is being introduced, is an improved version of the previous PCV 7 preventing the attack of seven strains of pneumonia.
The district coordinator said the three doses of the vaccine would be administered to the new born babies at three stages, which are after six weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age