NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday clarified that the Covid pandemic has not severely impacted the essential healthcare services including immunization under the Universal Immunization Programme, as claimed by a section of media.
The country has achieved, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 99% DTP3 (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) vaccine given to infants under 1, in the first quarter of 2021 as measured by the Health Management Information System.
This is the highest DTP3 coverage measured to date, said the government adding that the ministry along with all states and development partners, has worked towards mitigating negative impacts of Covid-19 and taking urgent actions to ensure that children receive life-saving vaccines.
In order to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid on vaccination services, many other steps have also been taken, according to the government, adding that a national guideline to safely continue immunisation services during the Covid-19 pandemic, including polio Supplementary Immunisation Activities has been developed.
State and district level training on new guidelines are conducted to ensure the safe delivery of vaccines as per Covid guidelines and keeping Covid appropriate behaviour in mind, it also said.
In order to identify reasons for missed vaccine doses, monitoring & supervision is being done by state and district task forces for prompt corrective action, the statement said and added that high-risk groups and areas with districts with high vaccine-preventable diseases, districts with low vaccine coverage or risk mitigation have been identified.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush or intensified immunisation drive in identified 250 high-risk districts was conducted wherein more than 9.5 lakh children and 2.24 lakh pregnant women were vaccinated.
One national immunisation round and two sub-national rounds have been conducted to maintain high population immunity against polio, the ministry stressed.