Rotavirus vaccination extended across all states and UTs by September 2019

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, decided to provide Rotavirus vaccine (RVV) to children across all states and Union Territories (UT)  by September 2019 inorder to achieve the goal of ending morbidity and mortality in children due to diarrhoea by 2022.Rotavirus vaccinationKey points:
Rotavirus: 
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea in children of less than 2 years of age.

  • Nearly every child in the world is infected with a rotavirus at least once by the age of five. It is due to this reason, every 37 out of 1000 children born in India are unable to celebrate their 5th birthday with diarrheal deaths being the main reason. Other deaths by diarrhoea can be prevented through good hygiene, frequent handwashing, safe water and safe food consumption, exclusive breastfeeding and vitamin A supplementation.
  • Rotavirus A, the most common species, causes more than 90% Of rotavirus infections in humans.
  • Rotavirus causes 8,72,000 hospitalizations, 32,70,000 outpatient visits and 78,000 deaths annually.

Rotavirus vaccination:
The  Rotavirus can be prevented by Rotavirus vaccination. The rotavirus vaccine (RVV) was recommended by an expert committee, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), in the Universal Immunization Programme(UIP).
i. Children are provided with three doses of RVV along with other vaccines, free of costunder UIP at 1.5months, 2.5months and 3.5months of the child.

Initial stages of launch of RVV:
The vaccine was introduced in the year 2006 in a phased manner.

  • The vaccination began initially with 4 states and later expanded to 7 more states. Totally there were 11 states by the end of  2018. At present the RVV is expanded to 17 more states till now.
  • The vaccine is expected to be available in all 36 states/UTs by September 2019.
  • The states/UTs with RVV at present are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Haryana,Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Tripura, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu,Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Daman and Diu, Gujarat, Bihar, Sikkim, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Dadra& Nagar Haveli,Goa, Chandigarh, Nagaland, Delhi, Mizoram, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

About minister of health and family welfare
♦ Union minister responsible- Dr. Harsh Vardhan (constituency- ChandniChowk, Delhi).
♦ Minister of state-  Ashwini Kumar Choubey (constituency- Buxar, Bihar)
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
♦ Formed- 1976.