What is the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)?
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is used to protect infants, young children, and adults against disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae
- It contains purified capsular polysaccharide of pneumococcal serotypes conjugated to a carrier protein to improve antibody response
- The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of the conjugate vaccine in routine immunizations given to children
- PCV has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing incidence and severity of pneumonia and other lower respiratory infections in children
- PCV is already being used in the national immunization program of more than 141 countries (as of September 2017).
- PCV was introduced in India’s UIP in a phased manner from June 2017 onwards.
- PCV is made up of sugars (polysaccharides) from the capsule of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.
- In PCV, each polysaccharide is attached, or conjugated to, a carrier protein. The carrier protein is selected to improve the immune response in those vaccinated.
- PCV has been shown to protect very young children starting at 6 weeks of age when infants are most at risk of infection.
- It protects against severe forms of pneumococcal diseases, such as pneumonia, meningitis and bacteremia
What is the Pneumococcal disease?
- It is the name given to a group of diseases caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus Pneumoniae(also known as pneumococcus) different types of diseases caused by pneumococcus Diseases caused by pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae) are:
- Pneumonia: Inflammation of the lungs, It is a form of acute respiratory infection that causes inflammation or fluid in the lungs. It makes breathing difficult and limits oxygen intake.
- Bacteremia/sepsis: bloodstream infection, with or without infection of secondary sites, e.g., meningitis
- Bacterial meningitis: infection of the membranes that cover and protect the spinal cord and brain
- Otitis media: Middle ear infection