Media reports claiming Shortage of Pneumococcal vaccine are False and Misleading
A recent media report in a national daily has claimed 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 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 7th October 2022, sufficient doses of PCV Vaccine are available. A total of 70,18,817 (70.18 lakh) doses of PCV are available with all States and UTs. This includes 3,01,794 (3.01 lakh) doses of PCV with the State of Maharashtra.
Further, as per the HMIS data of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, in the period January 2022 to September 2022, a total of 3,27,67,028 (3.27 crore) doses of PCV supplied by the Union Govt have been utilized by all the States and UTs. This includes 18,80,722 (18.80 lakh) doses of PCV utilized in the State of Maharashtra.
The supplies against procurement of PCV for the year 2022-23 have also commenced to the States & UTs.
Pneumonia is one of the major causes of child mortality and Government of India has taken proactive steps to effectively address this problem.
Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) was introduced by 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 Immunization Programme (UIP) has been expanded throughout the country.
The PCV is now an integral part of India’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) and is available free of cost to the entire birth cohort of 27.1 million. It is given in three dose schedule (6 weeks, 14 weeks and booster at 9-12 months).