KARACHI: Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV-10) is found to be 70 percent effective in protecting local children from ten strains of pneumonia and meningitis.
A four-year study conducted by Aga Khan University (AKU) about the impact of PCV-10, incorporated in the country’s door-to-door routine immunisation programme, found that the vaccine prevents children from contracting deadly strains of the two diseases.
Commenting on the findings of the research, Dr Asad Ali, associate professor and director of research in paediatrics at AKU, said that pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children over the age of one month.
“Our study clearly demonstrates the value of making this vaccine available to every child and puts forward new recommendations that will extend the reach of the vaccine to every child, in rural and urban parts of the country,” he said.
Pakistan is the first country in South Asia to introduce the PCV-10 vaccine against pneumonia and meningitis into its routine as well as special immunisation days’ programmes.
The study, funded by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) investigated the impact of PCV-10 in Karachi, Hyderabad, Matiari and Thatta.
In addition to studying the vaccines’ effectiveness, AKU researchers also analysed factors affecting the coverage of the vaccine in Thatta and Tando Muhammad Khan, two rural districts of Sindh – the province with one of the lowest rates of immunisation coverage.