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Health Ministry To Launch Pneumonia Vaccine On May 13

Health Ministry To Launch Pneumonia Vaccine On May 13

Health Ministry To Launch Pneumonia Vaccine On May 13

The Union government will launch pneumonia vaccine, under its universal immunisation programme, in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh on May 13.

The vaccine, which gives protection against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria, will be launched by Union Health Minister J P Nadda.

In the first phase, the vaccine will be administered under routine immunisation programme in parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and entire Himachal Pradesh, a senior health ministry official said.

This is the twelfth disease against which vaccine is being introduced in the country. The other diseases for which vaccines have already been introduced under the routine immunisation programme include, tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, polio and others.

The vaccine will reduce mortality due to pneumonia in the country, where at present, more than one lakh children die of the disease every year, the official said.

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by infection with bacteria, viruses or other organisms. Usually these organisms enter the lungs through the air that is breathed. Pneumonia may also be caused from infections that spread to the lungs through the blood stream from other parts of the body.

The body's defence mechanisms normally protect the lungs from infection. If these mechanisms are weakened as in patients with chronic illnesses such as malignancy, diabetes, HIV infection, alcoholism, liver cirrhosis and asthma, then bacteria or other organisms produce pneumonia.

A healthy diet, regular physical exercises and deep breathing exercises, all help maintain the body's defence mechanisms. One must avoid close contact with people who have flu or cold, or are coughing. Till now this is what has been advised to avoid catching pneumonia.

(With inputs from PTI)
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