ISLAMABAD     -   Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) with the support of international donors on Friday introduced Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TCV) in the immunization programme to control the outbreak of diseases in future.

The ministry in a statement issued here said that in 2017, 63% of typhoid cases and 70% of typhoid deaths in Pakistan were among children below 15. To prevent these deaths, the phased introduction will begin with a two-week campaign targeting 10.1 million children ranging from 9 months to 15 years of age.

It said that the government is launching the vaccine with a campaign in Sindh in response to the outbreak of typhoid since November 2016.

The campaign will start in more than 460 urban union councils of Sindh province with the funding support from Gavi, the vaccine alliance. 

This will include 4.7 million children from Karachi. As the campaign needs to reach older children, schools will play a major role. Following the campaign, the vaccine will be given to 9-month old infants as part of the routine immunization at EPI centres in the province.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza on launching ceremony said that children are disproportionately affected by typhoid and its associated complications.

“We strongly believe that TCV would protect our children against potentially fatal disease of Typhoid, starting with Sindh province, where the need is most urgent, the government has planned a phased national introduction strategy with strong, coordinated support from global and local partners,” he said

Provincial health minister, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho said that typhoid is a highly contagious disease that spreads more quickly.

She said that prevention through vaccination is one of the most effective interventions to reduce typhoid infections. The TCV campaign in Sindh will conclude on November 30.