Around 40.17 lakh people in the 15-65 age group will be covered under state-wide adult vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in Assam.

The statewide campaign was formally launched by Assam health minister Keshab Mahanta in a function at Sonapur District Hospital in the outskirts of Assam’s main city Guwahati on Tuesday.

Earlier, the vaccine was available for children of the 1-14 year age group under the Universal Vaccination Programme of the Union government.

The Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine was introduced in the routine immunization under the Universal Immunization Programme in the 181 endemic districts of the country. Recently, the Union government has announced the introduction of two doses of the JE vaccine for adults in endemic districts.

Assam was allowed to launch the campaign this year. Since the JE outbreak starts from March to September each year, the campaign has been launched from October this year. Initially, 1.47 lakh people of the 15-65 age group under 99 development blocks of the state will be covered under the programme, Mahanta said in his speech.

The deadly Japanese Encephalitis killed 154 people in 2019, the highest since 2014.

In 2015, in Assam, the number of deaths due to Japanese Encephalitis stood at 135, in 2016 the number came down to 92 and further decreased to 87 in 2017. In 2018 the state saw 94 deaths due to the vector-borne disease which is spread by the culex mosquito./;

The minister also informed that till Tuesday, 2,61,89,563 people have been administered both doses of the Covid vaccine.

A total of 1,96,88, 597 people have been administered the first dose while 65,00,966 people have received the second dose of the vaccine, he said.
A person can take the JE vaccine after 28 days of taking the Covid vaccine, the minister said.

In the same programme, the minister also 40 Covid Vaccine Express for a massive vaccination drive in 9 districts of the state.

The Covid Vaccine Express has been by a non-government organisation (NGO), Care India.

The campaign will cover far-flung villages of nine districts – Kamrup Metro, Dhubri, Goalpara, Dima Hasao, Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong, South Salmara and Udalguri.

12 Covid vaccination vans were also flagged off by the minister in the same function.

The programme was attended by Kamrup Metro deputy commissioner Biswajit Pegu, NHM (National Health Mission) mission director Dr Lakshmanan S, director health (family welfare) Munindra Nath Ngatey, deputy secretary (health) Kamaljit Talukdar, deputy director (health) Dr Lal Singh and other senior officials of the health department.

Care India’s chief executive officer (CEO) Rashmi Mohanty also attended the programme.

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