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The National Vaccination Day – March 16

The National Vaccination Day, also called the National Immunization Day, is celebrated every year on March 16 to convey the importance of vaccination to the entire nation. The day was first observed in the year 1995, the year on which India started Pulse Polio Programme. This year, the National Vaccination Day is important as the country has started its biggest Covid-19 immunization programme early this year and has already crossed the 30 million mark.

What is Immunization?

According to the World Health Organization, immunization is a ‘health and development success story. It is the process through which an individual’s immune system becomes fortified against foreign harm causing agent.

The vaccines train a person’s immune system to create antibodies. The vaccines are killed or weakened form of germs like viruses or bacteria that cannot cause disease but make antibodies that will safeguard the body when an active and strong form of the disease attacks the body.

What is the purpose of the National Vaccination Day?

The National Vaccination day started with the aim of curbing Polio plaguing the world. The day was observed to better awareness about the disease and how it can be eradicated from the planet. About 172 million children are immunized during each National Immunization Day, said the website of the National Health Programme.

What are the National vaccination schemes adopted by government?

Universal Immunisation Programme

The Universal Immunization Programme was introduced in 1978  by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare.  In 1989, it. Was modified to cover all districts in every state in a phased manner. Vaccines that were provided under UIP are Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine, Oral Polio Vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine, Tetanus and adult diphtheria (Td) vaccine, DPT,  JE vaccine, PCV, Rotavirus vaccine, Pentavalent vaccine.

Mission Indradhanush

The health mission was launched by Union Health Minister J.P Nadda on December 25, 2014. The scheme seeks to drive towards 90 per cent full immunisation coverage of India and sustain the same by 2020. Vaccination is being provided against eight vaccine-preventable diseases nationally, i.e. Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough, Polio, Measles, a severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B and meningitis & pneumonia caused by Haemophilus influenza type B; and against Rotavirus Diarrhea and Japanese Encephalitis in selected states and districts respectively.

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