Dr K K Aggarwal
Myths and misconceptions about vaccination should also be eliminated. Vaccines are free at government setups
New Delhi, January 05, 2019: Vaccines are estimated to avert 2 to 3 million deaths annually from diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, measles, and diphtheria. They are universally recognized as among the most cost-effective public health interventions. Vaccines also provide benefits to countries far beyond better health outcomes, such as increasing economic growth and development.
India has played an increasingly important role in the global immunization landscape. We have been able to reach several significant immunization-related landmarks – namely elimination of polio (in 2014) and maternal and neonatal tetanus (in 2015). However, efforts beyond this are now needed to focus on the research, development, and manufacture of vaccines.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Immunization is necessary for one and all. Often, people assume that it is not necessary because their children appear healthy or do not fall sick often. In other cases, health workers may not be able to reach out to some families due to non-availability of members at a certain point. There is a need to create awareness on the importance of immunization particularly for children and expectant mothers. Doing so will help us play a role in the larger good of the nation and achieve the government’s target also in a timely manner. Apart from this, there is also a need to scale up manpower, supplies, budget, and other resources to speed up the process.”
Mission Indradhanush, depicting seven colors of the rainbow, targets to immunize all children against seven vaccine preventable diseases namely Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Childhood Tuberculosis, Polio, Hepatitis B, and Measles. In addition to this, vaccines for JE (Japanese Encephalitis) and Hib (Haemophilus influenza type B) are also being provided in selected states. Apart from this, there are also vaccinations for adults.
Adding further, Dr. Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “If the coverage is not a sustainable year on year, it will ultimately lead to fatigue. If the mission is intensified, the efforts ahead also need to be at par. There is still reluctance, opposition, and slow acceptance of vaccination apart from other operational challenges. The challenges faced in delivering lifesaving vaccines need to be addressed from the existing knowledge and lessons must be learned from past experiences.”
The Vaccination Schedule under the UIP is as follows.
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