12:01 AM, May 01, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Govt to launch new vaccines this year

Govt to launch new vaccines this year

Expanded Programme on Immunisation official tells discussion
Staff Correspondent

The country's immunisation programme will launch two new vaccines by this year.
The Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) is expecting to run campaigns for pneumococcal vaccine and polio vaccine (IPV), which can be injected, by November.
As pneumonia causes 20,000 deaths of children under five every year, introducing the pneumococcal vaccination will save many lives. Although polio was successfully eradicated from the country in 2006, IPV is being launched to continue the success.
Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), which is providing the vaccines, would finalise the dates of deliveries by this month, said Dr Md Tajul Islam A Bari, programme manager of EPI, yesterday.
He was addressing a roundtable discussion organised by Prothom Alo with support of Lions Clubs International at the Bangla daily's office in the capital.
Health experts observed that the country owes much of its success in cutting 72 percent of child deaths in the last two decades to EPI.
Except the Maldives, Bangladesh has the lowest number of child deaths in South Asia, they added.
National Prof MR Khan commended EPI for conducting the largest immunisation campaign "Measles-Rubella Vaccination" in the country's history this year.
Sheikh Kabir Hossain, former director (international) of Lions Clubs International, said EPI at present reaches 81 percent of the children across the country.
Prof ABM Farook of Dhaka University's pharmacy department said the ability to store vaccines at a specific temperature is crucial to maintaining the vaccines' efficacy.
"However, different private companies that run vaccination campaigns in the country often show utter ignorance in this regard," he said.

Dr Mahmud Hasan, president of Bangladesh Medical Association, said successful immunisation largely depends on the general people's awareness.
"Except some minor incidents, the people of the country cooperate in immunisation campaigns and are not superstitious," he said.
MH Millat, an MP and senior adviser at Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital; Ruhul Amin, president of Bangladesh Paediatric Association; Ferdousi Kadri, director of the Centre for Vaccine Science; Khandakar Mahbuba Jamil, virologist at National Polio, Measles and AMES Laboratory; and Morol Nazrul Islam, associate professor at Gono Bishwabidyalaya, among others, spoke at the event. 


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