Immunization: The Big Catch-Up

World Immunization Week was observed across the world from 24th April to 30th April 2023 with the theme “The Big Catch-Up”. The concept of this week was to vaccinate every eligible child and pregnant women against vaccine-preventable diseases and catch up any missed vaccination.

During this week in Himachal Pradesh, vaccine for 11 preventable diseases for children up to the age group of 16 years and pregnant women were provided under the Universal Immunization programme. Various activities of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and vaccination camps are undertaken across state to educate the masses and catch up any missed vaccination with special attention to the High-Risk Areas like slums, migratory populations, labour camps and temporary settlements.

Around 600 children have been vaccinated all over the State at various vaccination sessions organized by the State government during the week. Himachal Pradesh has an estimated birth cohort of about 1 lakh children and 1.20 lakh pregnant women who are vaccinated through the 390 cold chain points and 44000 vaccination sessions in a year. This year the focus was also on the Measles and Rubella elimination and the State has extensively started the measles and rubella vaccination and surveillance all over the State.

Director Health Services, Dr. Gopal Berry briefed that this vaccination program was the biggest program in the world. Under this programme, children upto the age of 16 and pregnant mothers have been given free vaccines. In this program, detailed information was provided about routine vaccination and third dose of fractional IPV.

Along with routine vaccination, the third dose of Fractional IPV was also given to the children of 9 months, which is given to the children along with the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine in the ninth month. The vaccination was administered on the upper left arm of the child. During the program, information about vaccines and the prevention against diseases were also provided, he added. Eliminating the misconceptions related to vaccination, he said that vaccination is essential for the health of children. With timely vaccination, many deadly diseases can avoid among children.

Vaccination is absolutely safe and is the biggest protection shield for children. This also strengthens the immunity of children. All these vaccines were provided free of cost to all the children by the government. Hepatitis B, Polio, BCG dose must be given to children at the time of birth. If BCG is not applied then it must be applied along with vaccination dose in 6 weeks. BCG vaccine for one year, five drops of Rotavirus must be given in 6th, 10th and 14th week. It is very important to aware maximum people about vaccination regularly.

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