Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Khwaja Imran Nazir announced it at the launching ceremony of rotavirus vaccine, here on Friday. The rotavirus vaccine will be the 10th vaccine to be introduced in the immunization program.
Administered in two oral doses for children of 6 weeks as well as 10 weeks of age, it will help reduce the diarrhoea related mortality in children below five. Punjab reports around 1.2 million cases of diarrhoea annually with 40-45 per cent related to rotavirus.
Kh Imran Nazir said that in the first phase, the vaccine is being introduced in six districts: Lahore, Multan, Khushab, Kasur, Mandi Bahauddin and Muzaffargarh reaching more than 1 million children.
The vaccine will be later introduced in the rest of the province which accounts for 20% of Pakistan birth cohort. “The introduction of rotavirus vaccine is a historical moment for the Punjab, he said and added that the vaccine will reduce diarrhoea-related mortality in the province by a significant margin.
We are grateful to our international development partners, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and WHO for providing vaccines, as well as technical and material support for introducing the new vaccine,” he added.