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Government launches pentavalent vaccination in 8 states

The government on Thursday said it had started the pentavalent vaccination drive in eight states. The pentavalent vaccination drive for infants under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) has been started in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Puducherry, the government informed the Rajya Sabha. The vaccine is given at the age of 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age to infants. Pentavalent vaccine protects against Diphtheria, Pertusis-Tetanus, Hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenza-B. Pentavalent vaccine is provided as commodity assistance by Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) through Unicef, Minister of State for Health Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury said, in written reply this week.

Several states like Assam, Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal have made requests to the centre for introduction of pentavalent vaccine in their state. However, no decision has been taken by the government in this regard The pentavalent vaccine has been part of some controversy with some experts claiming it did more harm than good.

Source: IANS

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