Importance of Immunization: Celebrating National Immunization Awareness Month
Get vaccinated, stay healthy
A small drop of immunization is all it takes to prevent a deadly disease and avoid critical complications. Yet, millions of children across the world continue to suffer from infectious diseases due to lack of access to vaccination. Like every year, this August, which is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month, countries across the world continue to educate everyone on the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.
According to WHO, the vaccination coverage stands around 86% globally with no significant improvement over the past few years. Around 2 to 3 million deaths are averted every year due to vaccination and another 1.5 million deaths could be avoided with the broader reach of vaccination globally. Though most developed countries have declared themselves free from most infectious diseases, a total of 19.5 million infants still miss out on basic vaccines in under developed and developing countries, which includes India too.
Statistically, over 30% of children in India miss out on full immunization every year. To cover maximum immunization against 7 deadly diseases, the Government has launched mission Indradhanush, which aims to vaccinate children who have missed the vaccination drive, are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all.
Importance of Immunization to Prevent Diseases:
Immunization is important as it saves a life, is safe and very effective. Apart from that, immunization also helps in protecting other people by limiting the spread of diseases and over the years, safeguards future generations with the eradication of diseases. Mandatory immunizations include BCG, OPV, Hepatitis B, DPT, Measles, Varicella, MMR, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid. Optional immunizations include HPV, HiB, Pneumococcal, IPV, Rotavirus, and Influenza among others.
Dr. Waseem Afsar, Co-Founder of 5th Vital (a Bangalore based Health-care startup) says, “Considering today’s scenario, ideally, a child should be immunized against 16 diseases before they turn 13, and parents should ensure their children are bolstered with immunizations right from their birth. The Government is doing everything possible, but we as responsible citizens should be proactive in spreading the awareness. Remember, there are around 167 million children in India who are under 6, which in fact is more than the total population of many countries.” Remember, the most precious gift one can give their children is a healthy life.