WORLD IMMUNIZATION WEEK 2018

World Immunization Week 2018 is celebrated widely in the last week of April (24 to April 30). It aims at highlighting the collective effort which is needed to ensure that every person gets protection from diseases which can be prevented from vaccines.

The theme for this year’s World Immunization Week is “Protected Together, #VaccinesWork”. The theme is meant to encourage people at every level, starting from donors to the general public, to maximize their efforts for increasing immunization for people’s health and well-being on a larger scale.

LEARNING WITH TIMES

Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Immunization helps protect the child from life threatening diseases. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one of its surface proteins.Vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease.

              The Government of India launched the Universal Immunization Program (UIP) in 1985, one of the largest health programs of its kind in the world.Under the UIP, Government of India is providing vaccination to prevent eight vaccine preventable diseases nationally, i.e. Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B and meningitis & pneumonia caused by Haemophilus influenza type B, and against Japanese Encephalitis in selected districts.

To strengthen and invigorate the program and achieve full immunization coverage for all children at a rapid pace, the Government of India launched Mission Indradhanush in December 2014.Mission Indradhanush will ensure that all children under the age of two years and pregnant women are fully immunized with all available vaccines. It seeks to drive towards 90% full immunization coverage of India and sustain the same by year 2020. The objective of Mission Indradhanush is to fully immunize more than 89 lakh children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated; those that have not been covered during the rounds of routine immunization for various reasons.

                  Vaccination will be provided against seven vaccine preventable diseases, i.e. diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis-B. In addition, vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis and Haemophilus influenza type b will be provided in selected districts/states of the country. Pregnant women will also be immunised against tetanus.

                   Two new vaccines — measles-rubella and pneumococcal conjugate — are launched , and a third, rotavirus vaccine, became part of the UIP in another 5 states.

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