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Why in News:

  • It will help babies with low birth weight and reduce Infant Mortality Rate.


  • In a step towards reducing Infant Mortality Rate, the State has rolled out a pneumococcal vaccination programme. “Babies weighing less than 1.5 kg are admitted to SNCUs.Post- discharge, some of them develop respiratory infection and pneumonia and die in two or three months. One of the common causes of infant mortality is respiratory tract infection and pneumonia. In fact, pneumonia still tops the list for under-five mortality,” Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and registrar of Institute of Child Health.
  • It was to prevent pneumonia and meningitis that an initiative to offer pneumococcal vaccination

Pneumococcal Vaccination:

  • To cover babies with very low birth weight and discharged from Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU) in medical college hospitals, district headquarters hospitals and sub-district hospitals. The recommended schedule: first dose at six weeks, second dose at 10 weeks, and third at 14 weeks, and a booster dose at 15 months.
  • The vaccines were made available through the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Commission On an average, 490 to 530 babies are admitted to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit every month. Of this, 30 to 40% are pre-term. These are high risk babies and are prone to infections. Vaccination would provide good protection to them against pneumonia, pneumococcal meningitis, sinusitis and ear discharge.
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