Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine will be given to children between 18 months and six years old by the City as part of the National Pneumococcal Immunisation Programme.
CHILDREN between the ages of 18 and 35 months will receive an extra dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PVC) 13 at their daycare centres free of charge, which will be administered between 1 February and 31 May.
MMC for health Nonceba MolweleMMC for health Nonceba MolweleThe City’s health and the social development department is rolling out the National Pneumococcal Immunisation Programme to guard against pneumococcal disease, the leading cause of childhood deaths.
Children between the ages of 18 and 71 months who are HIV-positive, and those who have diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure and other conditions, will be given two doses of the vaccine, eight weeks apart.
Health workers will visit daycare centres and crèches across Johannesburg to undertake the immunisations. However, caregivers and guardians are also encouraged to take their children to their nearest clinics for vaccination.
Nonceba Molwele, the member of the mayoral committee for health and social development, urges parents and caregivers to ensure that children get the vaccinations that are recommended by the Health Department.
“We believe that early vaccination is the best defence against many preventable diseases such as pneumococcal, measles and tuberculosis.”
She adds that despite efforts made to raise awareness about the benefits of routine immunisation, children in some communities are not vaccinated. “Immunisations have been proven to prevent life-threatening and life-ending infections in children and they are available free of charge to all children in the City’s clinics.”
Vaccinations are free of chargeVaccinations are free of chargeIt is estimated that each year up to a million children under the age of five die from pneumococcal disease worldwide. The most common infections caused by pneumococcal diseases are meningitis – infections of the lining of the brain; pneumonia – infections of the lungs; blood infections and middle ear infections.
Symptoms include fever, cough, headache, ear pains and general feeling of illness. PCV 13 will not only protect those who are vaccinated but will also protect other people who have not been vaccinated, such as the elderly and HIV-positive.
Transmission of these diseases occurs when the bacteria that causes them is dispersed into the air when infected people cough or sneeze, and the bacteria is then inhaled by another person.
Parents and caregivers are urged to sign consent forms for their children to be immunised and to bring the children’s Road to Health cards to their daycare facilities or clinics. The immunisations administered will be recorded on the children’s cards.
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