Friday, November 14, 2014

Punjab to start providing 5 in 1 vaccine free through government dispensaries from December 2014

Yesterday, the Hindustan times paper reported that Punjab government will provide 5 in 1 vaccine containing DPT, Hep B & Hib (brain fever vaccine) free of charge at government facilities in the state. 
This is good news especially for the lower to middle class which were primarily taking the government vaccines, It will not only provide protection against a dreaded disease - hib, that can cause meningitis, ear infections and blood infections, BUT it will also lead to a lesser number of injections being given to the child (3 instead of 6 in the govt at present).
For the government as well, it will lead to less wastage and less time needed per child, since the number of injections, needles and syringes are reduced.
The 5 in 1 vaccine has been proven to be safe in large scale government programs across the country and internationally.
How would this impact private practitioners? 
Doctors in practice have a weird problem, the 'healthy season' when kids are well, is actually bad for the business :)
Plus one of our target customer base was the people whose children had taken the govt vaccines only, and not taken Hib yet. 
However, given that Hib can lead to very serious diseases, it is good step in the right direction, and while there is controversy regarding the burden of hib disease in our country I believe that this vaccine would be a success in our country, and help achieve better health for our children.
As far as practising pediatricians are concerned, this may help increase our vaccination rates too, since Hib vaccine will become de facto standard rather than being an additional vaccine, and we do claim to have better storage & vaccination techniques than most government centers. Over a period of time, since Modi government has already announced that they would be rolling out Rotavirus & MMR (or MR) vaccines too, we private practising pediatricians would probably need to focus more on the special situation vaccines like Influenza, the 'luxury/ lifestyle vaccines' like CP & Hep A, & Typhoid which for some strange reason is still not in the government of India's horizon.
Also, our practice in the coming generations would move more towards preventive pediatrics, and non infectious diseases in children.

Punjab government introduces 5 in 1 vaccine shortly - HT

Indian government to introduce 4 new vaccines - BBC

No comments: