New Delhi: A recent media report in a national daily has claimed a shortage of pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine across the country. It quotes State health officials (including SIO, Maharashtra) noting that tendering delay has led to the disruption in the schedules of tens of thousands of children across the country for over a month.
The news report is ill-informed and provides erroneous information.
As per data available till October 7, 2022, sufficient doses of the PCV vaccine are available. A total of 70,18,817 (70.18 lakh) doses of PCV are availainwith all States and UTs. This includes 3,01,794 (3.01 lakh) doses of inwith the state of Maharashtra.
Further, as per the HMIS data of the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, in the period January to September 2022, a total of 3,27,67,028 (3.27 crore) doses of PCV supplied by the Union Govt have been utilised by all the States and UTs. This includes 18,80,722 (18.80 lakh) doses of PCV utilised in the state of Maharashtra.
The supplies against procurement of PCV for the year 2022-23 have also commenced in the States & UTs.
Pneumonia is one of the major causes of child mortality and the Government of India has taken proactive steps to effectively address this problem.
Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) was introduced by the Govt of India in 2017 in a phased manner across the most affected five states of India viz, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Thereafter, the PCV under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) has been expanded throughout the country.
The PCV is now an integral part of India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) and is available free of cost to the entire birth cohort of 27.1 million. It is given in three dose schedule
(Six weeks, 14 weeks and booster at 9-12 months).