Govt mulls Hepatitis B vaccination for all
New Delhi: In a major move aimed at putting a check on the spread of Hepatitis B diseases, the government is mulling to introduce vaccination programme for all from the next financial year – 2018-19. According to sources, the vaccination programme would be a pan India campaign and it would be for free of cost.
The move is aimed at making India a healthy nation as the country has over 5 crore Hepatitis B infected patients, which is second only to China. It's also a fact that most of the Hepatitis B infected patients don't even know about their infection, which poses serious life threats.
According to sources, the government may announce about the launch of scheme in the Union Budget, which is slated to be presented on February 1. As per the sources, the government would allocate about Rs 150 crore for the project, which may escalate in years on. Since the scheme would be a centrally-sponsored, states would be entitled to bear 40 per cent cost of the scheme.
"Presently, only children get the Hepatitis B vaccination under the vaccination programme, which is not enough to control the rise in Hepatitis B infected patients' cases. It's been reported that people are getting infected to the disease in their 40s or late 50s, which is not a good sign," the source said, adding that the screening of the disease would also be fast-tracked.
The vaccination facilities would be available at every government hospitals for free. There are about 1.5 lakh deaths being reported in the country due to Hepatitis B, which is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus that affects the liver.