14% infants haven’t got basic vaccination doses in J&K: Survey

By: Sajidah Yousuf

Srinagar: In a major concern, at least 14 percent of infants between 2-23 months age group in Jammu and Kashmir haven’t received any of the basic vaccinations against six major childhood illnesses, reveals a survey conducted by Government of India (GoI).

The figures maintained by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare states that only 86 percent of the infants of 12-23 months old were given six major vaccines.

“Eighty-six percent of children of 12-23 months received all basic vaccinations against six major childhood illnesses including tuberculosis, diphtheria, Pertussis, tetanus, polio, and measles at any time before the survey.”

“However, 96 percent of children are at least partially vaccinated and only 4 percent have not received any vaccinations at all,” reveals the survey.

The GoI has also said that the Penta vaccine was not widely available at the time of the previous survey.

Stating the process of records being maintained by the GoI, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that they were recording it from a vaccination card for a large majority of nearly 86 percent of children.

“Ninety-five percent of children have received a Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination, 88 percent have received the recommended three doses of the polio vaccine, 93 percent have received the three recommended doses of DPT or Penta vaccine, and 92 percent have been vaccinated against measles,” reads the survey report.

It also states that there was a dropout between the first and third doses of DPT vaccine from 95 to 93 percent and polio vaccine from 94 to 88 percent.

“Between the previous and the latest survey, there was an increase in vaccination coverage for three doses of DPT from 88 to 93 percent and measles from 86 to 92 percent,” it reads.

Furthermore, the report states that the coverage for three doses of the polio vaccine also increased, from 84 to 88 percent and overall, there was an encouraging change in the coverage of all basic vaccinations from 75 to 86 percent. “The coverage of the BCG vaccine has declined by one percentage point from the previous to latest survey from 96 to 95 percent.”

In addition, 94 percent of children have received at least one dose of Hepatitis-B vaccine, and 91 percent of children have received all three recommended doses of Hepatitis-B vaccine.

It also states that the coverage with all basic vaccinations was higher among girls as compared to boys with 88 percent and 85 percent respectively. (KNO)

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