GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK) has launched a multi-channel campaign to raise awareness about vaccinations that provide critical protection to children of 1-2 years of age.
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) recommends seven vaccinations for children of this age group, first dose of chickenpox and hepatitis A, second dose of meningitis and MMR, booster doses of PCV and DTP Hib IPV, and annual dose of flu. Although, immunisation coverage in the first year is high in India, drop-out rates in the second year increase. A significant number of children in the country remain partially vaccinated.
GSK’s campaign encourages parents to continue the immunisation schedule even in the second year of their children’s lives to ensure continued protection against such preventable diseases through vaccination. Partial vaccination can put them at risk of serious complications from infectious diseases. Children who are partially vaccinated can also transmit the infection to their younger unvaccinated siblings or elderly grandparents who are more vulnerable to these diseases.
Rashmi Hegde, executive vice president, medical affairs, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, India, says, “In the past 3 years, there have been outbreaks of certain vaccine-preventable diseases such as chickenpox, measles, and flu in the country. Vaccine-preventable diseases not only disrupt children’s health for a short time, but they have a long-term effect on their developmental milestones. Completing the full immunisation schedule holds the promise of a healthy and happy childhood, which further ensures that children grow into healthy adults. Through this campaign, we want to communicate to parents the need to give their children the recommended vaccinations even in the second year of their life.”
GSK has launched the campaign across multiple channels such as television, social media, and posters at pediatricians' clinics across the nation.