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Govt to introduce two new vaccines

by Staff reporter
12 Apr 2012 at 21:49hrs | Views
Government is set to introduce two new vaccines which prevent pneumonia and meningitis this June, a move expected to change the immunisation schedule from six weeks going onwards.

The introduction of the new vaccines comes after the realisation that pneumonia, meningitis and diarrhoea are claiming more lives of children who are under the age of five.

Ministry of Health and Child Welfare Epidemiology and Disease Control Director, Dr Portia Manangazira, said the new vaccines will be administered starting from six weeks.

She said modalities are being put in place in preparation for June when the new vaccines are going to be introduced adding that the introduction of the new drugs will have a bearing on the normal vaccination schedule.

"This June we are going to introduce pneumococcal conjugate, a new vaccine for pneumonia and meningitis. These vaccines are going to be administered at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks moving onwards. For the diarrhoeal drug we are going to introduce it next year," she said.

Commenting on the dwindling figures of children who are turning up for immunisation, Dr Manangazira said the situation is a cause for concern and is a major setback considering all the efforts that government is making in trying to ensure that every child receives vaccines at the prescribed time.

A new vaccine for diarrhoea will be introduced next year and the immunisation schedule is likely to change further.

The introduction of new vaccines automatically translates to an increase in the number of preventable diseases from six to nine, which children under the age of five are vaccinated against.

Source - Zbc