New Delhi [India]: The first Sub-National Immunisation Day for 2022 for administering polio vaccine drops is being conducted from June 19 in 11 states and UTs.
The states and UTs for the Polio vaccine campaign will include Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, during this Polio campaign, around 3.9 crore children less than 5 years of age are targeted to be given polio drops through the booth, house-to-house, mobile and transit teams.
“To provide additional protection to children, the Government of India has also introduced the injectable Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine into its routine immunisation program,” the ministry said.
India, along with ten other countries in the South-East Asia Region of the World Health Organisation (WHO), was certified polio-free on March 27, 2014.
The ministry said that the last case of polio in the country was reported on January 13, 2011, from Howrah, West Bengal.
Globally, polio is still endemic in two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Though India has been certified “polio-free”, the risk of wild poliovirus importation or the emergence of vaccine-derived polioviruses persists until global eradication, which highlights the need for maintaining high population immunity and sensitive surveillance in the country.
While India is making efforts to protect its children from more and more Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPDs) by introducing additional vaccines under the Universal Immunisation Program (UIP), it is important that all vaccines also reach every last child in the country.
The lessons learned and systems created under the National Polio Program are being used to strengthen routine immunisation and achieve more than 90 per cent full immunisation coverage.
State Governments and organisations like WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and other partners have played a significant role not only in polio eradication but also in improving routine immunisation initiatives.
The ministry further urged all the parents to get their children, less than 5 years of age, vaccinated against Polio.