PCV immunization targets 4.6 million Indonesian children

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PCV immunization targets 4.6 million Indonesian children
Children getting ready to receive vaccination, including the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), in the campaign to prevent various diseases. (IO/Muhammad Hidayat)

Jakarta, IO – Pneumonia is an acute inflammation of the lung and surrounding tissues. It can be caused by bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. However, it is most frequently an infection of pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae), HiB (Haemophilus influenzae type b), or staphylococcus (Staphylococcus pneumonia) bacteria. 

Pneumococcal bacteria has been identified in 49.5% of pneumonia cases that occur in Indonesia. Within the past 6 years, the average pneumonia infection rate among toddlers is 1.26 million cases a year. This disease necessitates hospitalization, at an average annual expense of IDR 379.3 billion. “14.5% of deaths in babies and 5% of deaths in toddlers in Indonesia is the result of pneumonia. This high death rate is something we all need to address. The Government is committed to include PCV immunization in its routine national immunization program, starting 2022,” reported Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin, in the National PCV Immunization Launch on Monday (12/09/2022). 

The Ministry set a target of 4.6 million babies, toddlers, and children to get PCV immunized this year. The scheme was first introduced in a number of regencies and cities in West Java, East Java, and West Nusa Tenggara. Starting this year, PCV immunization will be performed throughout the Archipelago, as 1 out of the 14 mandatory immunization types for Indonesian children. 

PCV vaccination is proven to drastically lower pneumonia infection incidence, and to mostly protect against the disease: “Other than for lowering infant and toddler death rates, PCV immunization is also important in reducing stunting rates among these age groups. This is because when infected, children’s nutritional balance will be disrupted. It is one of the efforts we make to achieve Medium-Term National Development Plans (Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah National – “RPJMN) target,” the Minister said.