Srinagar, Apr 07 : Several health centres in Jammu and Kashmir are facing shortage of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) leading to a disruption in vaccination schedules of dozens of children.
Parents from several districts told that they have been taking their children for PCV vaccines to different health centres but they were told the vaccine is not available.
Qayoom Ahmad in Pulwama, a father of a six weeks old infant, said his nearby health centres did not have the vaccine.
He said that dozens of parents like him had to return home without vaccinating their children.
A health official on condition of anonymity confirmed that PCV vaccines aren’t available now.
He said that a few doses are being made available for immunization day (Wednesday) and many had to return without getting their children vaccinated.
Even at some centres, parents have been informed through Asha workers and other officials that PCV vaccines will be available at health centres after every 15 days now which used to be available on every Wednesday, he said.
Notably, as per the national immunisation schedule each child is given three shots of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (for protection against a type of bacterial pneumonia) by the time they turn nine months old; the first two shots are given at six and 14 weeks of age.
Meanwhile, a top health official denied shortage of PCV vaccine.
“The supply could have been exhausted in one centre owing to extra load but rationalisation is regularly being done at district level,” he said.
A few months ago there was a shortage at manufacturing level across the country but we are getting it in limited quantities. By Monday, we will receive fresh stock,” he added—(KNO)