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40% OF CHILDREN ARE NOT FULLY VACCINATED

Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

  • ‘Health in India’ report was recently published by the National Statistical Organisation (NSO).
  • The report is based on the 75th round of the National Sample Survey (July 2017-June 2018) on household social consumption related to health.

Highlights

  • Although almost all children in India are vaccinated against tuberculosis, and receive their birth dose of polio vaccine, two out of five children do not complete their immunisation programme.
  • Most of these children remain unprotected against measles, and partially protected against a range of other diseases. In the national capital, less than half of all children have been given all eight required vaccines.
  • Across the country, only 59.2% of children under five years are fully immunised, according to the NSO report.
  • This contradicts the Centre’s Health Management Information System portal data, which claimed that full immunisation coverage for 2017-18 stood at 86.7%.
  • About 97% of children across the country received at least one vaccination — mostly BCG and/or the first dose of OPV at birth — a statistic that remains steady across income groups and geographies.
  • However, only 67% of children are protected against measles. Only 58% got their polio booster dose, while 54% got their DPT booster dose.
  • The vast majority of these vaccinations — 95% in rural India and 86% in cities — were carried out in government health facilities and primary health centres which will be the same facilities used to distribute and administer the COVID-19 vaccine whenever it is made available.

How are children vaccinated?

Full immunisation means that a child receives a cocktail of eight vaccine doses in the first year of life:

  1. The BCG vaccine injected in a single dose shortly after birth, which protects against a childhood attack of tuberculosis;
  2. The measles vaccine; the oral polio vaccine (OPV) whose first dose is given at birth, followed by two more doses at intervals of four weeks;
  3. The DPT/pentavalent vaccine, generally injected in three doses, which is meant to protect a child from diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough, tetanus, Hepatitis B, and meningitis and pneumonia caused by hemophilus influenza type B.
  4. Booster doses for OPV and DPT are also given between 16 and 24 months.

-Source: The Hindu

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September 2022
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