India Rolls Out National Pneumonia Vaccination Campaign

November 11th, 2021 | News


November 12 is World Pneumonia Day, a day set aside to raise awareness about the world’s leading killer of children and adults and the importance of prevention and treatment of the disease. Furthermore, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbates concerns, given the dire risk of co-infection with both diseases. 

India has seen the heavy burden of both diseases. In the midst of an ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign and other pandemic-related challenges, JSI India has also been working to provide universal pneumonia vaccination coverage across the country.

On October 29, 2021, the Government of India launched the nationwide expansion of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) as part of the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” initiative. Health officials from around the country tuned in for the celebratory launch event, which was chaired by the Union Health Minister, Manuskh Mandaviya. 

As the lead technical partner, JSI India provided technical support to the national and state governments to ensure smooth PCV implementation within planned timelines, as well as integration of PCV into the routine immunization programme. We also provided support to the MoHFW to conduct post-introduction monitoring and evaluation, coverage reporting, and to document the learnings from this introduction. 

This is the first time that PCV will be available country-wide for all children and families; a communication campaign will increase awareness of the benefits of the vaccine.

Pneumonia is among the leading causes of death among children under five around the world and causes around 16% of childhood deaths in India. The nationwide PCV rollout is expected to reduce child mortality by around 60%, reaching 27.1 million people and saving an estimated 50,000 lives a year.

Improving children’s health is a critical step in helping them to reach their full potential, allowing them to play an integral part in any country’s growth, productivity, and development. “Children are the future of our country and it is our responsibility to provide them a healthy life,” said Mandaviya. 

JSI has long worked to strengthen health services for children, building capacity to implement integrated community case management of childhood diseases, including deadly pneumonia.

In India, JSI has worked in partnership with the national government, state governments, the private sector, and civil society for decades to strengthen the nation’s public health system and improve service delivery. Learn more about JSI India, our local affiliate that provides ongoing support for India’s efforts to improve maternal, newborn, and child health, introduce life-saving vaccines, and more. 

Read the press release from the India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Read the articles in the Times of India, Centre expands Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine coverage to curb child mortality, and the Hindustan Times, Nationwide Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine programme launched.

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