- 23 Oct 2019
- 5 min read
The Government will launch the second phase of nationwide immunisation drive, i.e. Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0, to mark the 25 years of Pulse polio programme.
- Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 aims to achieve at least 90% pan-India immunisation coverage by 2022.
- Mission Indradhanush, that was launched in December 2014, has increased India’s immunisation coverage significantly to 87% from 67% in 2014.
- However, official data on India’s immunisation coverage is still 62%, given as the National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16).
Immunization Programme in India
- Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- In 1985, the Programme was modified as ‘Universal Immunization Programme (UIP)’. The stated objectives of the Programme include:
- Rapidly increasing immunization coverage,
- Improving the quality of services,
- Establishing a reliable cold chain system to the health facility level,
- Introducing a district-wise system for monitoring of performance,
- Achieving self-sufficiency in vaccine production.
- UIP prevents mortality and morbidity in children and pregnant women against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases. But in the past, it was seen that the increase in immunization coverage had slowed down and it increased at the rate of 1% per year between 2009 and 2013.
- To accelerate the coverage, Mission Indradhanush was envisaged and implemented since 2015 to rapidly increase the full immunization coverage to 90%.
- The aim is to fully immunize more than 89 lakh children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated under UIP.
- It targets children under 2 years of age and pregnant women for immunization.
- It provides vaccination against 12 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD) i.e. diphtheria, Whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, meningitis and pneumonia, Hemophilus influenza type B infections, Japanese encephalitis (JE), rotavirus vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and measles-rubella (MR).
- However, Vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis and Haemophilus influenzae type B is being provided in selected districts of the country.
- It is a nationwide initiative with a special focus on 201 high focus districts. These districts accounted for nearly 50% of the total partially vaccinated or unvaccinated children in the country.
- The rate of increase in full immunization coverage increased to 6.7% per year through the first two phases of ‘Mission Indradhanush’.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush
- The Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) was launched by the Government of India in 2017 to reach each and every child under two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme.
- Under IMI, greater focus has been given on urban areas which was one of the gaps of Mission Indradhanush.
- The target under IMI was to increase the full immunization coverage to 90% by December 2018. However, only 16 districts in the country have achieved 90% coverage so far.
- The Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 will target the districts which have immunisation coverage of 70% or below.
Pulse Polio Immunization Programme
- With the global initiative of eradication of polio in 1988 following the World Health Assembly resolution in 1988, Pulse Polio Immunization programme was launched in India in the financial year 1994-95.
- It was started with an objective of achieving hundred percent coverage under Oral Polio Vaccine.
- Children in the age group of 0-5 years are administered polio drops during national and sub-national immunization rounds (in high risk areas) every year.
- WHO on 24th February 2012 removed India from the list of countries with active endemic wild poliovirus transmission and in 2014, India was declared Polio free.
- As a risk mitigation measure, the country has also introduced Inactivated Polio Vaccine across the country in all states.