Pakistan Launched New WHO Approved Typhoid Vaccine


Pakistan has become the first country throughout the globe to launch the World Health Organization’s (WHO) approved Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TCV) to battle the epidemic of a drug-resistant strain (XDR).

The new anti-typhoid vaccine has been introduced during the immunization campaign "Mission Typhoid" started from November 19th in Sindh province, where nearly 10,000 cases of the disease have been recorded since 2017. 

The TCV campaign is designed to vaccinate 10.1 million children, aged between 9 months and 15 years against the waterborne fatal disease. The vaccine offers a very beneficial solution to protect children from drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid, a serious illness caused by Salmonella Typhi.

“Within the two weeks, the campaign has successfully achieved 90% of its set target”, said Sindh EOC Project Director Dr Akram Sultan.
The new WHO-approved typhoid vaccines have been provided by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to the Pakistani government free of cost. “This vaccine (Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine) is pre-qualified by the World Health Organization, which means that its production is rigorously monitored by WHO. TCV is recommended for use by WHO because it’s safe and effective in granting the protection (against XDR typhoid)”, said WHO representative in Pakistan, Dr. Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala.

The UNICEF representative in Pakistan Aida Girma also expressed her views, “UNICEF fully endorses the Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TCV), a safe and efficient way to protect children against this deadly disease”.

Health professionals have expressed their apprehension about the outbreak of Typhoid in the country. According to their statistics, Pakistan's awful sewage, water systems, low vaccination rates along the over-populated abodes are the actual reasons behind the spread of drug-resistant typhoid. To combat the situation WHO tested and approved TCV has been introduced in Sindh province to curb the deadly disease. 

However, in the initial stage, some people show resistance towards mission typhoid campaign, as some cases of minor side effects were detected in some children, but WHO, UNICEF & local doctors and pediatricians endorsed the use of the vaccine. Prof Khalid Shafi, the vice president of the Pakistan Pediatric Association (PPA) said, ‘my daughter was the first child, who got the TCV shot in her arm when the vaccination campaign started in Sindh’.

As a part of the Mission Typhoid campaign, around 8000 + skilled and trained vaccinators supported the campaign along with 2 social mobilizers per vaccination team visited households to mobilize families to vaccination sites. 

It is also very important that people should be informed about the precautionary measure that apart from TCV vaccination, they should make sure to consume boiled drinking water, avoid rotten food items and always teach children about hand-washing, particularly after using the toilet.