Special Vaccination Drive Starts in Rayagada Dist Following Diphtheria Outbreak in Kashipur

Rayagada: The Odisha government has started a special vaccination drive against diphtheria in the Rayagada district following a diphtheria outbreak in the Kashipur area of the district. The disease is reported to have claimed the lives of five children in the area.

The health officials are trying to check the bacterial infection from spreading as some children have also been infected by the disease in neighboring Koraput and Kalahandi districts.

The Health and Family Welfare department has mandated the administration of pentavalent vaccines to children under one year old, while those aged one to seven will receive the combined diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus (DPT) vaccine. Older children will receive the tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccine.

Health Secretary Shalini Pandit emphasized the importance of this initiative, targeting non-immunized and under-immunized children identified during door-to-door surveys. Medical officers will be stationed at each vaccination site, equipped with anaphylaxis kits to manage any adverse reactions. The comprehensive drive aims to cover affected villages and ensure vaccination for children who may have missed previous doses.

The pentavalent vaccine provides protection against multiple diseases including diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis-B, and Hib, crucial for reducing the incidence of life-threatening illnesses in children.

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