Morung Express News
Dimapur | September 22
The State of Nagaland, a consistent low performer in full immunisation coverage, is considerably lagging behind others this year too, data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in the parliament informed.
With just 7627 children with full coverage, Nagaland was lowest among the states with 40.2% coverage, stated a written reply by Minister of State, MoHFW Ashwini Kumar Choubey to an unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha on September 20.
Overall, out of 36 States/Union Territories (UTs), Nagaland was second lowest, beaten to the bottom only by Andaman & Nicobar Islands at 34.6% coverage.
Overall the ‘All India’ coverage was 68.5% at 12,057,068 children. Jammu & Kashmir (including Ladakh) led the coverage with 98.3% followed by 89.7% in Meghalaya and 86.1% in Chhattisgarh.
The status was as per the Health Management Information System (HMIS) on September 4. The data entry in HMIS also slowed down as workers were also involved in other COVID related activities, the Ministry said.
The MoFHW’s reply further informed that utilisation of immunization services slowed down at the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, but coverage has improved subsequently because of series of measures taken the ministry.
It includes provision of series of guidelines for delivering immunisation services as well as Reproductive, Maternal, New born, Child, Adolescent Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services to states/UTs.
After each immunisation session, due list of beneficiaries is prepared to track and trace individuals who have missed their regular vaccine due to COVID-19 pandemic, it said.
Besides regular reviews to discuss challenges being faced by the States/UTs, appropriate communication material has been developed and shared with the States and UTs for addressing vaccine hesitancy and strengthening routine immunisation, it added.
“Supply chain of vaccines and other logistics has been ensured during COVID-19 Pandemic, it also said.
What is Universal Immunization Programme?
According the National Health Mission website, the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) is one of the largest public health programmes targeting close of 2.67 crore newborns and 2.9 crore pregnant women annually.
Under UIP, immunisation is provided free of cost against 12 vaccine preventable diseases: Nationally against 9 diseases - Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Rubella, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Hemophilus Influenza type B and Sub-nationally against 3 diseases - Rotavirus diarrhoea, Pneumococcal Pneumonia and Japanese Encephalitis; of which Rotavirus vaccine and Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine are in process of expansion while JE vaccine is provided only in endemic districts.
“A child is said to be fully immunized if child receives all due vaccine as per national immunization schedule within 1st year age of child,” it added.