Implementation of New Vaccine, Prevenar, at Primary Health Care Facilities | Western Cape Government


Implementation of New Vaccine, Prevenar, at Primary Health Care Facilities

14 July 2009
Pneumonia and diarrhoea are worldwide public health problems and together account for about half the deaths in children below the age of five years. Studies indicate that in South Africa, pneumonia related deaths in children less than five years of age have increased. Pneumonia kills more children than any other illnesses, malaria and measles combined. Pneumonia deaths account for almost 20% of deaths in children under five years of age worldwide. Approximately 85% of these deaths occur in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Invasive pneumococcal diseases are a major cause of disease in the world. The invasive pneumococcal disease include pneumonia, meningitis and bacteraemia. The burden of pneumococcal disease and the associated deaths is even higher in HIV infected individuals.

To combat the spread of invasive pneumococcal disease in infants such as pneumonia, meningitis and bacteraemia, the National Department of Health has added a new vaccine, Prevenar, to the immunization schedule in the country.

Prevenar was distributed to primary health care facilities in the Western Cape and implemented from 01 July 2009. Six week old infants will receive their first dose of the vaccine. These infants will receive a second dose at 14 weeks and a third and last dose at nine months.

Issued by the Directorate: Communications for the Western Cape Department of Health.

Sithembiso Magubane: 073 662 5482

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