Pentavalent vaccine: a major breakthrough in India’s Universal Immunization Program.

Immunization is one of the most important public health interventions and a cost effective strategy to control the infectious diseases especially in children. Complete immunization coverage in India has increased from below 20% in the 1980s to nearly 61% at present, but still more than 1/3rd children remain un-immunized. Advent of combination vaccines has facilitated incorporation of additional vaccines into immunization schedule. Pentavalent vaccine, against five killer diseases-diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and Hemophilus influenza type B (Hib), has been introduced in almost all GAVI eligible countries by 2011. Government of India introduced the vaccine in two states in pilot phase and has given green signal to six more states. The use of pentavalent vaccine automatically raises the coverage level of hepatitis B and Hib vaccines. If the vaccines are provided individually, the coverage of hepatitis B and Hib vaccines usually lags behind DPT coverage. This gap can be filled by using pentavalent vaccine in routine immunization programmes.

Authors:Bairwa M, Pilania M, Rajput M, Khanna P, Kumar N, Nagar M, Chawla S.
Journal:Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2012 Sep