SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (HEALTH ISSUES)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
Recently, a report by World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) highlighted the impact of covid-19 pandemic on immunization Coverage programs globally and in India as well.
- Three million children have not received the first dose of the Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DPT) vaccine in 2020.
- 25 million children globally missed out on or more doses of the DTP vaccine in 2021 alone.
- Over 24 million children missed out on their first measles vaccine dose in 2021,
- Over five million more than in 2019.
- Compared with 2019, 6.7 million more children missed out on the third dose of the polio vaccine and 3.5 million missed the first dose of the HPV Vaccine which protects girls against cervical cancer later in life.
- The coverage of vaccines dropped in every region whereas East Asia and the Pacific region recorded the steepest reversal:
- Around 18 million of the 25 million children who did not receive a single DTP dose in 2021 belong to low- and middle-income countries, with India, Nigeria, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and the Philippines recording the highest numbers,
FACTORS FOR THE DECLINE
- increased number of children living in conflict and
- fragile settings where immunization access is often challenging.
- increased misinformation and Covid-19-related issues
- supply chain disruptions
- resource diversion to response efforts, and containment measures that limited immunization service access and availability.
- Annually, India vaccinates more than 30 million pregnant women and 27 million children through its universal immunization program.
- India effectively avoided a drop in coverage by the early restoration of routine immunization services, along with evidence-based catch-up programs, which enabled it to avoid a drop in routine immunization coverage.
- India launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush4.0 in February 2022 with the aim to immunize every pregnant woman and child who had missed their vaccination.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS