- The Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as the ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization’ (EPI) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- In 1985, the programme was modified as ‘Universal Immunization Programme’ (UIP) to be implemented in a phased manner to cover all districts in the country.
- Under UIP, immunization is providing 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
- Sub-nationally against 3 diseases – Rotavirus, 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 the child receives all due vaccines as per national immunization schedule within the 1st year age of child.
- Every year the Universal Immunization Programme caters to the vaccination needs of 2.65 crore children and 2.9 crore pregnant women against these 12 Vaccine Preventable Diseases. Despite these efforts by all the States and UTs, some children and pregnant women get missed out from this network.
- Mission Indradhanush was launched by the government to reach out to every dropped out and left out child and pregnant woman.
- To strengthen and re-energize the Universal Immunization Programme and achieve full immunization coverage for all children and pregnant women at a rapid pace, the Government of India launched “Mission Indradhanush” in 2014.
Goal of Mission Indradhanush
- The ultimate goal of Mission Indradhanush is to ensure full immunization with all available vaccines for children up to two years of age and pregnant women.
- The Government has identified 201 high focus districts across 28 states in the country that have the highest number of partially immunized and unimmunized children.
- Earlier the increase in full immunization coverage was 1% per year which has increased to 6.7% per year through the first two phases of Mission Indradhanush.
- Four phases of Mission Indradhanush have been conducted till 2017 and more than 2.53 crore children and 68 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush
- To further intensify the immunization programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) in 2017.
- Through this programme, Government of India aims to reach each and every child up to two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme/UIP.
- Special attention was given to unserved/low coverage pockets in sub-centre and urban slums with migratory populations.
Why in News?
- Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI 5.0), the flagship routine immunization campaign of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will conclude all 3 rounds on 14th October 2023.
- IMI 5.0 ensures that routine immunization services reach the missed-out and dropped out children and pregnant women across the country.
- This year, for the first time the campaign is being conducted across all the districts in the country and includes children up to 5 years of age (Previous campaigns included children up to 2 years of age).
- IMI 5.0 campaign aims to enhance immunization coverage for all vaccines provided under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) as per the National Immunization Schedule (NIS). Special focus is on improvement of Measles and Rubella vaccination coverage with the aim of Measles & Rubella elimination by 2023.
- Since 2014, 11 phases of Mission Indradhanush have been completed across the country. 12th phase is currently ongoing, a total of 5.06 crore children and 1.25 crore pregnant women have been cumulatively vaccinated till date under the campaign.