India launches National Polio Immunization Drive to sustain polio free status

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New Delhi, Feb 26

 Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Saturday launched the National Polio Immunization Drive for 2022 by administering polio drops to children below five years of age at the health ministry.

The immunisation drive will be organised across the country on Sunday. India conducts one nationwide NID and two Sub-National Immunization Day (SNIDs) for polio every year to maintain population immunity against wild poliovirus and to sustain its polio-free status. During the Polio NID, over 15 crore children will be covered across all 36 states and UTs in 735 districts.

Addressing the occasion, Mandaviya said that the country's strategic fight against polio is a success story of India's public health policy against vaccine preventable diseases. "We need to continue to be vigilant and ensure that every child under five years of age must get polio drops".

"Under the leadership of our Prime Minister, Universal Immunization Programme is focusing to protect children from more diseases than ever before and has introduced several new vaccines like Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), Rotavirus vaccine, and Measles-Rubella vaccine (MR) in the recent past.

"Further, to provide additional protection to our children, the Centre has also introduced the injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine into its routine immunization programme. While we are making efforts to protect our children from more and more diseases, it is important that all vaccines under the programme reach every child of our country", said the minister.

Stressing on the importance of observing National Immunisation Day, he said that the aim of Swastha Bharath can only be achieved if the children are healthy. The objective of Mission Indradhanush or Polio Vaccination Drive is to protect them against such deadly diseases.

"Since our neighbouring countries are still not polio free, we should remain vigilant and continue the vaccination programme. Over 15 crore children under 5 years of age will be vaccinated in the coming months. Door-to-door vaccination campaigns through robust micro-planning will be done to ensure that no one is left," he stated.

During the drive, polio drops will be provided to children through 7 lakh booths across the country. Approximately 23.6 crore houses will be visited for polio drops. Meghalaya has already conducted the drive in the state on January 24, while Mizoram plans to conduct the same on March 1 due to local reasons.

Election-bound states of Uttar Pradesh and Manipur also plan to organise the Polio NID on March 20 and 24, respectively.


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