Govt to add 4 new vaccines to refurbish its immunisation programme

, 11:35 AM IST

New Delhi: The Health Ministry will soon add 4 new vaccines to its immunisation programme. ‘Mission Indradhanush’, currently providing coverage against seven life-threatening diseases, will soon also include vaccines for rotavirus, measles rubella, inactivated polio vaccine biavalent and Japanese Encephalitis for adults, health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda said. It currently provides immunisation coverage against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B.

“Mission Indradhanush has brought change in the lives of people. We have to keep some other name in place of Indradhanush as the vaccinations have gone up from seven to eleven,” Nadda said. Around 89 lakh children in India are estimated to be either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

Under Mission Indradhanush, the ministry will specially focus on 201 districts which account for nearly 50% of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children in the country. Of these, 82 districts are in just the four states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and account for nearly 25% of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children of the country.

“In one year’s time, 1.62 crore children have been additionally brought under the ambit of immunisation,” Nadda said. The World Health Organizstion (WHO) pegs India’s vaccine coverage at less than 80%. The government is targeting to immunise 90% of infants by 2020 under its ambitious nationwide immunisation drive.