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Immunization can prevent Infant Mortality.

Ranchi, Jharkhand 23 April 2014 :: World Immunization Week is observed 24 – 30 April every year. The theme this year is “Are you up-to-date?” People are encouraged to know about the vaccination, check the vaccination status of their children and protect them from vaccine preventable diseases. By making sure that you and your family are up-to-date with the vaccines you child need, you give them the best chance of a healthy future.

In the last 13 years, full immunization coverage of children in Jharkhand has increased to 69% in 2011-12 (AHS) from 9% in 1998-99 ( NFHS II ). Full immunization is highest in Lohardaga (87%), followed by East Singhbhum (84%), Bokaro (83%) and Ranchi (80%). The lowest is in Giridih (43%) followed by Devghar (49%) and Godda (54%).

Immunization is widely recognized as one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions ever introduced. Routine Immunization can protect children from 8 vaccine preventable diseases (namely tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, measles and hepatitis B and Japanese encephalitis). Immunization can reduce infant mortality by 6% (Lancet 2003).

Key facts

  • Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • Measles and Japanese encephalitis account for most vaccine preventable deaths.
  • Though lifesaving vaccines are available free of cost and provided at every health facility and anganwadi center every month during VHND, 1 out of 3 childrenin Jharkhand do not receive all vaccines.  An estimated 2, 50,000infants in Jharkhand miss out on full immunization (AHS 2011-12).
  • Although there is significant reduction in deaths and disabilities due to immunization, there are still pockets of low immunization rate and children in those areas are more vulnerable to diseases.
  • Recent Polio eradication from India confirms the ability of vaccines to wipe out the disease from community entirely.

Key challenges

  • Lack of information/awareness is a major reason for non-vaccination. Over one-fourth of parents are still not aware about the importance of vaccination and schedules of vaccines to be given to their children (CES 2009).
  • There are still many myths related to immunization in remote areas of Jharkhand.

Universal Immunization Program

 Currently 6 vaccines are given to children covering 8 diseases in Jharkhand.



BCG (Tuberculosis) – 1dose Within 1 month of birth
Polio – 5 doses Within 15 days of birth, 1.5 months, 2.5 months, 3.5 months, 16 – 24 months (booster)
DPT – 5 doses

(Diphtheria, whooping cough/pertussis  & tetanus)

1.5 months, 2.5 months, 3.5 months, 16-24 months (booster), 5 years ( 2nd booster)
Measles – 2 doses 9 months & 16-24 months
Hepatitis B – 4 doses Within 24 hours of birth, 1.5 months, 2.5 months and 3.5 months
Japanese encephalitis -2 doses ( In Pakur, Giridih, Dumka and Palamu) 9 months & 16-24 months

 Daily Immunization services are available at medical college hospitals, district hospitals and block level hospitals. In addition, children are immunized during the monthly village health and nutrition day by the ANM at every Anganwadi center.

 Considering that a large number of children miss full immunisation, there is a need to reach out to children below 2 years in slum areas, forest villages, brick kilns, nomadic populations and riverine areas. Parents whose children have missed the doses should be mobilized to get their child immunized.

Information was given by :: Moira Dawa [ Communication Officer, UNICEF, Jharkhand ]

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