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Goa: Govt announces pneumococcal vaccines for infants

Panaji, Dec 11: Newborns in Goa will now be administered pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) to bring down the infant mortality rate in the state, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters here, Sawant said the cabinet has approved the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine as per guidelines of UNICEF to reduce infant mortality in the state.

“This vaccine will be administered in three doses including two regular and a booster one,” Sawant said.

Two primary doses will be administered between six to 14 weeks of the child’s birth, while the booster dose will be given when the baby is nine months old.

“The state cabinet has approved Rs 1.21 crore for the vaccination programme, which will be implemented throughout the state,” Sawant said.

State health minister Vishwajit Rane said, “Goa will now be the first state in India to introduce this vaccine, which will help us focus on our mission of a healthy Goa.”

According to the state health department, the vaccine caters to diseases caused by streptococcus pneumoniae, including pneumonia, meningitis, among others.

In 2005, World Health Organisation estimated that 0.7 to 1 million children below five years of age die of pneumococcal disease and most of them are from developing countries.


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