Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization’ (EPI) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. In 1985, the programme was modified as ‘Universal Immunization Programme’ (UIP) to be implemented in phased manner to cover all districts in the country by 1989-90 with the one of largest health programme in the world.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India provides several vaccines to infants, children and pregnant women through the Universal Immunisation Programme.
Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines are substances that stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease.
It is 100% funded by the central government.
Universal Immunisation Programme: Objectives
Provide free of cost vaccines to all children across the country to protect them against 12 Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs).
Rapidly increase immunization coverage
Establish a reliable cold chain system to the health facility level
Achieve self-sufficiency in vaccine production
Strengthen and maintain robust surveillance system for Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) and Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI);
Introduce and expand the use of new and underutilized vaccines and technology in UIP.
Under UIP, Government of India is providing vaccination free of cost against 12 vaccine preventable diseases i.e.
Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio
Measles (measles-rubella (MR) vaccine – single vaccine for dual protection against measles and rubella)
severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis,
Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Hemophilus Influenza type B across the country
Rotavirus vaccine (RVV) to prevent Rotavirus diarrhoea (it was expanded recently covering the entire nation)
For two diseases Japanese Encephalitis and Pneumococcal Pneumonia, vaccines are available only in selected states. Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine is in the process of expansion while JE vaccine is provided only in the endemic districts.