Although almost all children in India are vaccinated against tuberculosis, and receive their birth dose of polio vaccine, two out of five children do not complete their immunisation programme, according to the ‘Health in India’ report recently published by the National Statistical Organisation (NSO).
- Most of these children remain unprotected against measles, and partially protected against a range of other diseases.
- In the national capital, less than half of all children have been given all eight required vaccines.
- The report is based on the 75th round of the National Sample Survey (July 2017-June 2018) on household social consumption related to health.
- Across the country, only 59.2% of children under five years are fully immunised, according to the NSO report. This contradicts the Centre’s Health Management Information System portal data, which claimed that full immunisation coverage for 2017-18 stood at 86.7%.
What is ‘full immunisation’?
- Full immunisation means that a child receives a cocktail of eight vaccine doses in the first year of life.
- About 97% of children across the country received at least one vaccination — mostly BCG and/or the first dose of OPV at birth — a statistic that remains steady across income groups and geographies. However, only 67% of children are protected against measles.
- Only 58% got their polio booster dose, while 54% got their DPT booster dose.
- Among States, Manipur (75%), Andhra Pradesh (73.6%) and Mizoram (73.4%) recorded the highest rates of full immunisation. At the other end of the spectrum lies Nagaland, where only 12% of children received all vaccinations, followed by Puducherry (34%) and Tripura (39.6%).