Friday March 22, 2019

India launches its first Rota Virus vaccine

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Image source: www.babycenter.com

Bhubaneshwar: Aiming to slash the prevalence of violence-borne diarrhoea, the health ministry on Saturday launched the Rota Virus vaccine here, which will be available free of cost at public healthcare facilities, initially in four states.

Terming the occasion historic in the Indian health system, Health Minister J.P. Nadda said: “This is not a routine programme. This Rota virus launch sets the goal in the field of Indian health system. By launching this, we aim to immunise 27 million children across the country to prevent diseases caused by Rota virus.”

Rota is a highly contagious virus that infects majority of children before their first birthday. It is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea among children, leading to hospitalisation and death.

Nadda said that the government was aggressively working for the eradication of a slew of other diseases, including leprosy and TB.

“It is our duty to see that every child born in the country born is immunised against dreaded diseases,” he said.

The National Technical Advisory Group on vaccines had recommended the phased introduction of Rota virus vaccine in the country’s Universal Immunisation Programme.

In the first phase, Rota virus vaccine will be introduced in four States — Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh. It will be provided at government health facilities to children from six weeks of age.

The vaccine was launched in Odisha as the state records high diarrhoea cases among children and deaths due to improper treatment.

“We are making appropriate investment, and this has been possible because we have an effective healthcare system with more and more facilities capable of providing the vaccine to the needy children,” said Health Ministry Additional Secretary C.K. Mishra.

Currently, 9.2 percent of Odisha’s total disease burdens consists of diarrhoea patients.

The infant mortality rate in Odisha is 51 per 1,000 live births, while the mortality rate of children under five years is 68 per 1,000 births, both far higher than in the other states where the Rota virus vaccine was launched in the first phase on Saturday.

The diarrhoea burden due to Rota virus in Andhra Pradesh stands at eight percent while the figure in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh is 8.5 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.

Globally there are 453,000 child deaths due to Rota virus every year. In India, Rota Virus diarrhoea causes about 78,000 deaths and about 8.7 lakh hospitalisations each year. Additionally, 32.7 lakh children under five years of age are treated as outpatients.

Credits: IANS

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Instagram, Facebook to Remove Vaccine Misinformation Content: Report

Since both the social networking platforms are heavily used by advertisers, ads found to include fake news on vaccinations would be rejected outright

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Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

As part of their effort to reduce the spread of “vaccine hoaxes” on its platform, Facebook and its photo-messaging app Instagram will no longer allow advertisements that include misinformation about vaccines.

The company has decided to take action against accounts which are promoting vaccine hoaxes that have been publicly identified by the World Health Organisation and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, US.

“We want to give people more accurate information from expert organisations about vaccines at the top of results for related searches, on Pages discussing the topic, and on invitations to join groups about the topic,” Monika Bickert, Vice President, Global Policy Management, Facebook wrote in a blog-post on Thursday.

As part of the initiative, the Facebook Pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in News Feed and Search would not be included in recommendations or predictions.

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Facebook: The platform allows for different types of content, which makes it ideal for diverse, interactive and entertaining content.

On Instagram, recommended content on vaccinations that could contain wrong information would not show up in the Explore tab and hashtag pages.

Since both the social networking platforms are heavily used by advertisers, ads found to include fake news on vaccinations would be rejected outright.

Also Read- Google Rolls out ‘Continued Conversations’ Feature on its Google Assistant

“For ad accounts that continue to violate our policies, we may take further action, such as disabling the ad account,” Bickert said.

“We are exploring ways to share educational information about vaccines when people come across misinformation on this topic,” she added. (IANS)