Vaccine costing Rs. 3,000 will now be administered for free at PHCs on every Thursdays
Mysore/Mysuru: Following an initiative of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Karnataka Government, for the first time, launched a free Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) drive across the State today.
In Mysuru, the drive began at the renovated Seth Mohandas Tulsidas Hospital (SMT Hospital) on JLB Road this morning.
PCV is a vaccine used to protect infants, young children and adults against diseases, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs caused by Pneumococcal bacteria. These bacteria can also cause other diseases such as ear infections, Sinus infection, Meningitis and Bacteremia (infection of blood).
Speaking after launching the drive, DHO Dr. K.H. Prasad said that hitherto the vaccine was being given for infants in three doses at Private Hospitals, with each dose costing Rs.3,000. But now this vaccine is available for free in all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and at other State-run Health Units. Now, parents can get their infants vaccinated for free against these diseases such as Pneumonia.
“The first dose will be given for 45-day-old infants, second dose at three-and-a-half-months and the third and final dose at nine months. These doses are given only at the defined periods of time after a baby is born and the first dose will not be given if an infant has crossed 45 days. Infants defaulting on first dose will also stand to lose the subsequent doses, as the vaccine will be effective only if administered at defined periods of time. Hence, parents must be extra cautious to get their infants vaccinated with PCV on prescribed days without fail,” he said.
Pointing out that 40,000 children are born in the district annually on an average, Dr. Prasad said that PCV will be administered at PHCs on all Thursdays.
Noting that neither the parents nor other elders need not be worried or confused about this vaccine, he said that PCV is found to be an effective tool in the fight against Pneumonia, Meningitis etc.
Maintaining that the District has enough stocks of PCV vaccine to meet the demand, he said that the PHC staff, ASHA workers and other health workers are carrying out public awareness on the importance and benefits of the vaccine for the health and safety of children.
Referring to Dengue cases, the DHO said that so far, the district has reported 28 Dengue cases since September and all the patients are undergoing treatment at different hospitals.
Stressing on the need for the public to maintain cleanliness and hygiene in their vicinity, he asked the people to take measures for checking the breeding of mosquitoes.
Pointing out that stagnant water is the most common breeding ground of Dengue causing mosquitoes, Dr. Prasad said that the Health Department too is taking precautionary and safety measures by carrying out fogging at identified places.
On the ongoing COVID vaccination drive, Dr. Prasad said that the District Administration has set a target of vaccinating 24.38 lakh adult population and so far, 22 lakh people have been vaccinated with the first dose and 13 lakh with both the doses.
Contending that the district has completed 90 percent of the set target in respect of first dose and 56 percent in respect of both doses, he said that the Department aims to reach the target in full shortly.
Referring to the death of a 39-year-old Ashokapuram resident after receiving COVID jab, Dr. Prasad said that it has been found that the person was learnt to be suffering from heart ailments and had also defaulted on taking medicines.
Asserting that the health staff, during the ongoing door-to-door COVID vaccination drive will seek information about the health condition of every person who is going to be vaccinated, he said that following the Ashokapuram incident, the health staff have been directed to take extra care in seeking accurate inputs through repeated questions on the health condition of all people, before they are vaccinated.
RCHO Dr.M.S. Jayanth, SMO Dr. Sudhir Nayak, SMT Hospital Administrative Officer Dr. Chandrashekar, THO Dr. Mahadeva Prasad, Health Education Officer M. Munindramma and others were present. People’s representatives could not take part in the launch of the drive due to the Model Code of Conduct in force for the Legislative Council polls from Local Authorities Constituencies.