Most kids in India lack timely vaccinations

Study shows that barely 18 percent of children are vaccinated with the recommended three doses of DPT vaccine

GN Bureau | June 3, 2016


#University of Michigan   #Indian children   #Vaccination   #DPT   #measles  


 Two-thirds of children in India do not receive their vaccinations on time, prolonging their susceptibility to diseases and contributing to untimely deaths, say University of Michigan researchers.

New research by U-M's School of Public Health found that only 18 percent of children are vaccinated with the recommended three doses of DPT vaccine, while about a third receive the measles vaccination by 10 months under the government-supported immunisation program.
Their study is believed to be the first that looks at vaccination timeliness data for children up to 5 years of age, both with and without immunisation cards.
 
"This is a systemic problem," said the study's lead author, Nijika Shrivastwa, who recently finished her doctorate in epidemiology at U-M and is now at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. "Immunising a child six months after the recommended time period can have dramatic implications for a child's vulnerability to diseases."
 
Shrivastwa also says a lack of good recordkeeping is part of the problem. When a child is born in India, the parents are given an immunisation card to keep track of the vaccines. But, if the card is lost or misplaced, the record for that child is lost.
 
Sometimes, it also means a "missed opportunity", she says. A child may be in the hospital for one vaccine, but will not get another follow-up vaccination that was also due because there is no record.
 
Although India is a leading producer and exporter of vaccines, the country has the greatest number of deaths among children under 5—the majority are from vaccine-preventable diseases.
 
"Every year, 26 million children are born in India—the greatest number by far of any country in the world," said Dr. Matthew Boulton, senior associate dean for global public health at the U-M School of Public Health and professor of epidemiology, health management and policy, and preventive medicine.
 
"Adding vast numbers of new children who need vaccination, while the older ones remain under or unvaccinated because of immunization delays, is like walking too slowly on a moving treadmill—you continuously fall further back."
 
 The researchers found that only 12 percent of children are vaccinated with the measles vaccine by the required age of 9 months, although 75 percent are vaccinated by age 5. This delay in vaccination can contribute to frequent outbreaks of measles in India.
 
"Approximately, 95 percent vaccination is required in a population to successfully stop measles outbreaks," said Boulton, a senior author of the study. "India's childhood vaccination rate is simply too low to successfully control transmission of disease and prevent measles-related childhood illnesses and deaths."
 
The study looked at the vaccination rate of nearly 270,000 children in the District Level Household and Facility survey data from 2008, a nationally representative sample. The researchers utilised a new statistical analysis methodology to examine data from children without immunisation cards, using mothers' recall of vaccination status.
 
DLHS was started in 1997 to assess government health care facilities and people's perceptions about the quality of services. A new DLHS sample was collected in 2013, but the results have not been made public yet.
 
Shrivastwa said the government has the infrastructure to deliver vaccines but motivations for delivering all vaccination doses decreases over time.
 
"Interventions like awareness building and follow-up with parents will be key to timely vaccinations in India," she said.
India hopes to add rotavirus to its Universal Immunization Program, a free government-approved vaccination program that was looked at in this study.
 
"For rotavirus to be effective, it must be delivered on time. Otherwise, the child will not receive the disease-preventing benefit of the vaccine," Boulton said.
 
The researchers agree that if India is able to administer vaccinations on time, it will have a major impact on the global status of childhood vaccinations and public health.
 
The study, "Vaccination Timeliness in Children under India's Universal immunization Program", is published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. Other U-M authors include Brenda Gillespie of the Center for Statistical Consultation and Research and James Lepkowski of the Institute of Social Research.

Comments

 

Other News

Gig workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30

The gig economy has arrived in India, as the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled a flexibility of employment. As many as 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy, constituting 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35

How Antyodaya Saral is simplifying everyday life in Haryana

From obtaining an electricity connection to a driver`s licence, ration card, or old-age allowance, delivery of government schemes and services is an aspect of governance that impacts citizens at various points throughout their lives. The Haryana state government provides over 600 such schemes and services.

A blueprint of India’s economic future: From a former RBI governor

From Dependence to Self-Reliance: Mapping India’s Rise as a Global Superpower By Bimal Jalan Rupa Publications, 184 pages, Rs 695 Bimal Jalan, a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been one of our finest commentators on econom

Carbon neutrality: distant dream or a possible future?

While many countries have been chasing to reach the carbon neutral status, only a few seem to be living up to their pledges as of now. The famous ’Paris Agreement’ of 2015 was glorified and celebrated that finally 196 countries have united with an intent to mitigate and reduce the greenhouse ga

Agnipath: benefits and challenges on the path ahead

The government this week announced the Tour of Duty or `Agnipath` scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces. Under this scheme new soldiers will be recruited only for four years. This radical and far-reaching scheme has attracted mixed reactions from various quarters. While some officials

Connecting credit card with UPI: What it means for you

UPI has become an integral part of our daily lives now. We use it to buy groceries, we use it to send money to friends and family, we use it to purchase tickets, book shows, pay the cab driver, and a whole host of other things due to the ease and availability of such a platform at our fingertips. The best

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter