India

48 lakh Karnataka kids to receive Japanese Encephalitis vaccine for free

Around 48 lakh children aged 1-15 in Karnataka will receive the vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis from December 5. Union Health Ministry will be supplying the Jenvac vaccine to conduct the drive.

Bengaluru,UPDATED: Dec 5, 2022 03:34 IST

Encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain caused by either infection or an allergic reaction (Photo: Representational)

By Sagay Raj: A special vaccination drive to innoculate around 48 lakh children aged between 1-15 against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) will be held in the state starting from December 5 for a period of 3 weeks.

“48 lakh kids aged 1-15 will receive the JE Vaccine during a special campaign that will be held in the state starting from December 5,” health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said. The vaccinations will be given free of cost by the Union government and the campaign will be conducted in 10 districts of Karnataka.

Speaking about the special vaccination drive, Minister Sudhakar said, “In the first week of December, vaccinations will primarily be focused on private and government schools. Following this, in the next two weeks, we will be focusing on vaccination drives in health institutions, Anganwadi centers and among communities. The Union Health Ministry will be supplying us with the Jenvac vaccine to conduct the drive.”

Under the Universal Immunization Programme in the state, Bellary, Raichur, Koppal, Vijayapur, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Mandya, Dharwad, Chitradurga and Davanagere are identified as the 10 endemic districts for this virus. In these districts, JE vaccine is given to children after they complete 9 months and the second dose is given at the age of 1.5 years.

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As per the directive of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, additional JE campaigns are conducted in Bagalkote, Dakshina Kannada, Gadag, Hassan, Haveri, Kalaburgi, Tumkur, Ramanagara, Udupi and Yadgiri districts during the JE non transmission period.

In this campaign, one dose of the JE vaccine will be administered to children aged 1 to 15 years.

WHAT IS JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS?

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain caused by either infection or an allergic reaction. JE is one of the most common causes of Encephalitis in India and a total of 68,000 cases are reported every year.

The JE is caused by a virus called flavivirus and it is primarily transmitted by Culex mosquitoes. The virus is maintained in pigs and wild birds which are called amplifier hosts while man is the dead-end host.

“Now we have to wage a war against JE and our Health Department is fully prepared. Let us all join hands in the fight against Encephalitis and protect our future generations from the crippling effects of this disease,” Karnataka health minister said.

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