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For the last 26 years, On March 16, 2023, India observed the National Immunization day/ Vaccination day. It was on this day in 1995 that the first dose of the Oral Polio vaccine was rolled out in the country. The initiative to eradicate polio from India came in the form of the Pulse Polio Campaign launched by the then Union government. Under this programme, 2 drops of Oral Polio Vaccine was given to all children younger than 5 years of age. With these extensive awareness programmes, finally, in 2014, India was declared polio-free WHO. Today at this Covid Vaccination period, let’s talk about the importance of National Vaccination Day.
National Vaccination Day 2023: History
To eradicate polio from the country came in the form of the Pulse Polio Campaign launched by the government, and as part of this in 1995 March 16, the very first dose of the Oral Polio vaccine was given in India. The last reported case of polio in India was in West Bengal in January, and for the last 08 years, India is a polio-free nation. India launched its very first vaccine Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) over 50 years ago. Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is used against TB, was launched in 1962 as a part of the National Tuberculosis Programme. From 1978 onwards Indian Health Ministry is running various vaccination drives to eradicate numerous variants of diseases including TB, Small Pox, etc.
India’s immunisation programme is the largest public health programme targeting close to 67 crore newborns, 2.9 crore pregnant women annually. Today, the government is providing, vaccines free of cost against 12 diseases through various schemes at national and regional levels.
- Nationally against nine diseases: Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Rubella, Severe form of childhood Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Hemophilus Influenza type B.
- Sub-nationally against three diseases: Rotavirus diarrhoea, Pneumococcal Pneumonia, Japanese Encephalitis.
What is Vaccination?
To understand the vaccination, let’s read through the explanation given by the World Health Organization: “Vaccination is a simple, safe, and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases before they come into contact with them. It uses your body’s natural defences to build resistance to specific infections and makes your immune system stronger.
Vaccines train your immune system to create antibodies, just as it does when it’s exposed to a disease. However, because vaccines contain only killed or weakened forms of germs like viruses or bacteria, they do not cause the disease or put you at risk of its complications.”
Vaccines activate the immune system without making us sick. You cannot “catch” the disease from the administered vaccines. Some of them may contain a “killed” virus, and it is impossible to get the disease from them. Others have life, but they are mild or weakened type, viruses designed to ensure that you cannot catch the disease.
National Vaccination Day: Quiz
- When did India organize the National Immunisation Day (NID) in 2023?
Ans: January 31
- When did the WHO organizes the World Immunization Week?
Ans: last week of April (24 to 30 April)
- When did the Immunization Programme in India has introduced India?
Ans: In 1978, as ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization’ (EPI) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- When did the Government of India launch “Mission Indradhanush”?
Ans: December 2014
- Who is the inventor of the Polio Vaccine?
Ans: Jonas Salk
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