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High vaccine cost responsible for child pneumonia deaths

Saturday, 13 November 2010 - 12:24pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
The Ahmedabad wing of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) urged the health ministry to list two vaccines under the National Immunisation Schedule to speeden up the drive to combat pneumonia.

The Ahmedabad wing of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) urged the health ministry to list two vaccines - Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) and Pneumococcal vaccine - under the National Immunisation Schedule to speeden up the drive to combat pneumonia.

Speaking at a seminar titled 'Blow Away Pneumonia,' a group of leading doctors from the city highlighted the large number of infant mortality deaths caused due to the disease despite it being a vaccine-preventable disease.

Currently it is in the category of other available vaccines.

One of the reasons why close to 1.5 lakh Indian children die of pneumonia every year is the high cost of vaccination. Two vaccines - Hib and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine — can protect them from two of the main causes of life threatening pneumonia.

At present the pneumococcal vaccine is available for Rs. 3200 in the market and efforts are being made to bring the price down considerably in the next three years.

"The Indian made Hib vaccine is available for just Rs 100 and we need to spread awareness about the same. The cases of pneumonia are high among the kids under two years of age. If this vaccine is used, the cases can surely be brought down," said IAP secretary, Dr. Dagli.




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