'Intensified Mission Indradhanush 4.0 to focus on identifying & vaccinating vulnerable groups of kids'
New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Every year, World Immunization Week (WIW) is observed globally from April 24-30. In observance of the week this year, the Unicef along with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Tuesday held an interactive engagement session with health journalists to reinforce media support toward increased uptake of routine immunization of children.
The theme for this year's immunization week is 'long life for all', with ‘long life' reflecting the importance of vaccinations for a long and healthy life and the importance of vaccine equity.
India annually targets approximately 2.9 crore pregnant women and 2.7 crore children for vaccination through the Universal Immunization Programme.
As per latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 data, Full Immunization Coverage (FIC) among children aged 12-23 months has recorded substantial improvement from 62 per cent to 76 per cent at all-India level.
Veena Dhawan, Additional Commissioner (Immunization), MoHFW, provided an update on the Universal Immunization programme and the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 4.0 launched in early 2022 to accelerate the vaccination coverage of children and pregnant women in targeted districts and blocks.
Highlighting the role of media as a crucial partner to create awareness on importance of every dose of vaccines to be taken by each child, she informed that IMI 4.0 focuses on identifying and vaccinating these vulnerable groups of children, who have missed out of any dose or who have dropped out on some doses.
The theme of the World Immunization Week this year celebrates the long history of vaccination (generating confidence though 'social proof'), in a tone of gratitude, care, and love.
The WIW also celebrates the extraordinary work of numerous people who have contributed to the creation, development and administering vaccines for the last 300 years.
A ‘Love Letter' thanking the stakeholders will be shared with supporters to write their own thank-you notes for all those who made vaccination possible.
A Hero Video which takes the viewer through the epic journey of vaccination across continents and though centuries will be released.
Zafrin Chowdhury, Chief of Advocacy, Communication and Partnership, Unicef India said: "Covid -19 vaccination has demonstrated the importance of vaccination in preventing serious disease. The #largestvaccinesdrive of COVID vaccination has shown us the immense power of vaccines and vaccinators. In the same way, we must now make strides on lifesaving routine immunization for all children, especially those who have not been reached, left out or dropped out. Vaccines work. Vaccines protect children from preventable diseases giving them the gift of a healthy, active life and helps them reach their full potential.
"As we hope to emerge from the pandemic, this WIW brings us an opportunity to renew our commitment to create a fresh momentum to raise awareness and action on the importance of completing vaccination for all children and for greater investment in the health systems.
"The media and key stakeholders have a critical role in creating the momentum."
Commending India's commitment to accelerate immunization coverage and achieve full immunization coverage for every child, Vivek Virendra Singh, Health Specialist, Officer In-Charge, Health, Unicef India, interacted with over 70 national and state media who had joined the discussion online.
"The WIW 2022 provides us an opportunity to remind everyone on India's success in the recent Covid-19 vaccination and earlier Polio eradication, through robust health systems driven immunization campaigns. WIW reiterates the need for routine immunization, and the collective action needed to reach every child everywhere with all necessary vaccines," he said.