New Delhi: COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc throughout the world. Apart from the catastrophe caused by the disease itself, it has also severely impacted patients with other diseases and governments health and welfare measures.
While we are trying to speed up the process of vaccinating our massive population against COVID-19, there has been a drop in regular vaccine coverage of the population due to the ongoing pandemic.
“India’s routine immunization program reaches approximately 27 million infants and children under the age of five and 29 million pregnant women with 12 preventative vaccines via nine million immunization appointments. In the last year, however, the coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a standstill, impacting immunization programs everywhere,” shared Deepak Kapur, Chairman, Rotary International’s India National PolioPlus Committee.
He further added, “The Ministry of Health announced immunization as an essential health service and released operational guidelines in mid-April 2020 that guided states on how to conduct vaccination sessions with enhanced safety precautions. Even so, routine immunization coverage and supplementary immunization coverage has been sub-optimal in the last year over fears surrounding COVID-19.”
IMPACT OF MISSING IMMUNIZATION
Missing vaccination for life-threatening diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, influenza, polio, measles-rubella etc., can make people more susceptible of diseases, thus impacting the overall healthcare of the population and further burdening the already stressed medical fraternity.
“Missed vaccinations allow children to become vulnerable to preventable diseases and so it is crucial to administer vaccines as per the recommended schedules for each child to keep infectious diseases at bay,” say Kapur.
He urges parents to get their kids vaccinated. “If a child’s vaccination dosage has been delayed or interrupted, the schedule can be resumed without repeating previous doses. Parents are advised to keep their children’s vaccination records up to date and are encouraged to ensure their children receive scheduled vaccinations whenever possible.”