New Delhi: Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Tuesday approved the introduction of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under the Universal Immunisation Programme to be implemented in five states, including Himachal Pradesh, in a planned manner from 2017.
The other states, where it will be introduced, include Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
"We have achieved a new milestone towards expanding the coverage of full immunization in Himachal Pradesh aimed at reducing child mortality," said Nadda.
He said that this would give a unique opportunity to the state to demonstrate the combined effect of diarrhoea vaccine (Rotavirus) and pneumonia vaccine (PCV) on the overall child mortality and morbidity in the state.
"I am sure Himachal Pradesh will be hugely benefited with this new PCV. We want our children to be healthy and this intervention is one step forward in ensuring that," added Nadda
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had earlier in 2016 introduced Rotavirus Vaccine to combat diarrhoea in the four states -- Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha.
"Adding these life-saving vaccine -- PCV and Rotavirus -- addition to our immunization program will not only improve the health of our children but will also reduce hospitalization.
"Even other conditions associated with diarrhoea and pneumonia -- malnutrition, delayed physical and mental development among children will also be reduced, thus reducing economic burden on the family and healthcare cost to the country", said Nadda.