World Immunization Week, 24-30 April 2019
World Immunization Week is celebrated in the last week of April. It aims to highlight the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Expanding access to immunization is crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
This year’s theme is: “Protected Together, #VaccinesWork”. It encourages people at every level from donors to the general public to go further in their efforts to increase immunization coverage for the greater good.
To do so, health care officials must invest in immunization efforts, health workers must make vaccines a priority, and people must get themselves and their families vaccinated.
Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus.
There are more than 19 million unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children in the world, putting them at serious risk of these potentially fatal diseases.
There was 84% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2016 worldwide, due to measles vaccination.
Polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988. Today, only 3 countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan) remain polio-endemic, down from more than 125 in 1988. India was declared polio free by World Health Organization in 2014.
In India 62% of children in the age group 12-23 months were found to be fully immunized ((BCG, measles, and 3 doses each of polio and DPT) ) during NFHS-4(national family health survey 2015-2016).
Immunisation programmes in India:
Universal Immunisation Programme(UIP):
Government of India is providing vaccination free of cost against vaccine preventable diseases include diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, severe form of childhood tuberculosis, hepatitis B, meningitis and pneumonia (Hemophilus influenza type B infections), Japanese encephalitis (JE) in JE endemic districts and newer vaccines such as rotavirus vaccine, IPV, adult JE vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and measles-rubella (MR) vaccine under UIP.
To strengthen and re-energize the UIP and achieve full immunization coverage for all children and pregnant women at a rapid pace, the Government of India launched “Mission Indradhanush” in December 2014. Earlier the increase in full immunization coverage was 1% per year which has increased to 6.7% per year through the first two phases of Mission Indradhanush.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI):
To further intensify the immunization programme, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) on October 8, 2017. Through this programme, Government of India aims to reach each and every child up to two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunization programme to ensure full immunisation to more than 90% by December 2018.
NHP Indradhanush Immunization (mobile application):
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India had launched a mobile application to make parents and guardian aware about the immunization schedule of their children and for tracking their immunization status. Application can be downloaded from Google play store.
“Through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood vaccination protects health at every stage of life no matter where you live”.
Know more about vaccines under UIP at nhp.gov.in .