Karnataka Govt To Provide Rs 600 Worth Rotavirus Vaccine For Free
Soon, every government hospitals, medical colleges, urban dispensaries, primary health centres, community health centres, sub-centres and outreach session sites in Karnataka will provide the Rotavirus vaccine (RVV) free of cost to children of age six, 10 and 14 weeks, along with other vaccines.
As part of the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP), the Health Department is all set to introduce the Rotavirus vaccine (RVV) from the third week of August 2019. Currently, the cost of the vaccine in private healthcare facilities is around ₹600 a dose.
“We are planning to introduce it by the third week of August as administering the vaccine requires training of our healthcare workers as the vaccine comes in powder and diluent form. The powder needs to be reconstituted using an adapter and then be put into syringes, and healthcare workers need to be trained in following this procedure properly,” told Rajani B.N., State Deputy Director (Immunisation), to The Hindu.
Nearly 78,000 Children Die Every Year In India due to Rotavirus
Rotavirus is the most common virus that causes extreme diarrhoea and leads to death among children below five years of age.
“Rotavirus transmission occurs primarily by the faecal-oral route, directly from person to person, or indirectly via contaminated fomites, and the virus can live for hours on hand and even longer on hard surfaces,” states a 2013 position paper of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In India, rotavirus accounts for 40 percent of hospitalisations due to diarrhoea in children with nearly 78,000 deaths every year. About 9 lakh children are admitted to hospitals with severe diarrhoea and another 32 lakh patients seek treatment every year.
Under the UIP, the vaccine was first introduced in the Indian State of Odisha in 2016 and later expanded to Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
Following the introduction of the vaccine, there was 74 percent reduction in severe Rotavirus infections in all the 11 States, where it has been introduced since 2016, said a top official in the Health Ministry’s Immunisation Division.
The Union Health Ministry in May 2019, said that the government is planning to extend the life-saving vaccine for small kids in 19 more States and seven UTs under UIP. With the extension, the entire country will have excess to free Rotavirus vaccine.