What is Immunization Drive in India?

The immunization drive in India is aimed at introducing advanced vaccines all across the country to strengthen the immune system against serious health conditions and diseases. This a vast topic and is crucial for all IAS exam aspirants. Read on to understand a few important facts on the immunization drive of India.

Latest Context on Universal Immunization –

  • India began the “World’s Largest Vaccination Program” on January 16, 2021. It is India’s first-ever adult vaccination drive.
  • The Prime Minister of India said that India is entering a decisive phase of vaccination in the fight against COVID-19, with the approval of two made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted emergency-use approval for two indigenous vaccines: COVISHIELD by Serum Institute of India and COVAXIN by Bharat Biotech.
    • The two vaccines are more cost-effective than any other in the world and that India’s vaccine production & delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis.
    • The vaccines have gone through preclinical animal experiments on animals like rabbits, mice and hamsters followed by non-human primates.
    • The two vaccines are found to be safe and no major side effects are expected. However, little pain or redness in the skin can be observed.
    • Out of the two vaccines, Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine whereas Covishield is a live vaccine. Read in detail about the Vaccine Types – Inactivated, Attenuated, Toxoid, Subunit on the linked page.

Read, Anti-Immunization Propoganda on the page linked here.

Universal Immunization Programme (UIP)

Read the points mentioned below to track the development of universal immunization programme:

  • Universal Immunization Programme was launched in 1985 after renaming expanded immunization programme of 1978.
  • In 1992, Child Survival and Safe Motherhood programme got Universal Immunization Programme as its part.
  • In 1997, Universal Immunization Programme became a part of the National Reproductive and Child Health Programme.
  • Universal Immunization Programme is an integral part of NRHM.
  • The Universal Immunization Programme is taken as one of the largest public health programmes.
  • As per the government data, 2.67 crores newborns and 2.9 crores pregnant women are targetted under this programme.
  • The programme is said to be largely responsible for the reduction of vaccine-preventable under-5 mortality rate.
  • Total of 12 vaccine-preventable diseases are covered against which free immunization is provided:
    1. Diphtheria
    2. Pertussis
    3. Tetanus
    4. Polio
    5. Measles
    6. Rubella, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis
    7. Hepatitis B
    8. Meningitis
    9. Pneumonia caused by Hemophilus Influenza type B
    10. Rotavirus diarrhoea
    11. Pneumococcal Pneumonia and
    12. Japanese Encephalitis
  • Elimination of Polio in 2014 and maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination in 2015 are the two major milestones covered under Universal Immunization Programme.

Immunization Drives – Vaccines

The list below mentions the new vaccines that are a part of immunization drive in India:

  1. Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)
  2. Rotavirus vaccine (RVV)
  3. Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine
  4. Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)
  5. Tetanus and adult diphtheria (Td) vaccine

Aspirants can check the following links to prepare comprehensively for the upcoming Civil Services Exams-

What is the Indradhanush vaccine?

Mission Indradhanush is a major health mission by the government of India launched on @5 December 2014. The scheme seeks to drive towards 90% full immunization coverage of India and sustaining the same.

What is the vaccine alliance Gavi?

Gavi is an international organization – a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. It was created in 2000. It is situated in Geneva, Switzerland.

Aspirants should know that the Government of India and state governments take initiatives to strengthen the public health sector through various schemes. Check those schemes in the linked articles below:

How does GAVI work?

The Gavi team will create a joint action plan with the government, marking out specific milestones and timelines, and providing targeted release of funds.

There will also be an active communication programme to take the message of vaccination to people and explain the benefits of the new vaccine.

India and Vaccinations

  • At present 80-90% of the world’s whole Measles vaccine is provided by India.
    • India supplies all the Rubella vaccines to South America.
  • The indigenous rotavirus vaccine is going to 16 countries in the world.
  • The indigenous developed meningococcal vaccine of India is supplied to entire Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Meningococcal meningitis is caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. It is a serious infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
  • Various novel vaccines have been introduced by India, such as the world’s first subunit rabies vaccine. It has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India.
    • Subunit vaccines are composed of protein or glycoprotein components of a pathogen that are capable of inducing a protective immune response and may be produced by conventional biochemical or recombinant DNA technologies.

The topic, ‘Immunization Drive in India’ is important from the context of Indian Society, Social Justice and Governance. These make important sections of the civil services examination. Candidates can get an idea of what types of questions are asked in the mains by following the links mentioned below. These links provided previous year questions asked in the mentioned sections of UPSC Mains papers:

Related Links:

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