Berhampur, Sept 2 (LocalWire): A fortnight-long Td vaccination (Tetanus-Adult diphtheria) programme was launched in Ganjam district on Sunday to vaccinate all children aged 10 years and 16 years.
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the throat and the nose.
Although preventable, it is highly infectious, doctors said.
As many as 1,09,131 children of these two age groups have been targeted, said chief district medical officer, Bijay Kumar Panigrahy.
Tetanus vaccine, which was earlier given to 10 and 16 year adolescents as well as pregnant women, is now being replaced by Td vaccine under routine immunization programme for the first time by the Central government, he said.
While 59,677 10 year-old children have been targeted during the camp, 49,454 16-year-olds will be vaccinated, he said.
As many as 498 ANMs have been engaged to carry out the vaccination programme. The campaign would cover all the 22 blocks and Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC), he said.
The health teams will visit both government, private and residential schools in the district to vaccinate school-going children in these age groups followed by children left out and other children who are not attending schools.
The CDMO said as per World Health Organisation- supported vaccine preventable diseases surveillance data, about 77% of all cases of diphtheria occur in the age group of five years and above.
Diphtheria among older children was due to immunity to the disease following childhood primary series of infant immunisation.
‘Though we are vaccinating children against diphtheria in the universal immunisation programme (three shots of pentavalent vaccine and two DPT booster doses), There was need to immunise adults, too, because of the recent cases in some other states,’ he said.