India to Focus on Universal Immunization through Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0
The Government of India launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0 on February 19 towards “universal Immunisation”.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare launched this programme and released the Operational Guidelines for IMI 3.0 as well as the awareness material/IEC package developed as part of the campaign, through video conference , along with Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey.
The Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0 will have two rounds starting from February 22 and March 22, 2021 and will be conducted in pre-identified 250 districts/urban areas across 29 States/UTs in the country.
Focus of the IMI 3.0 will be the children and pregnant women who have missed their vaccine doses during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will be identified and vaccinated during the two rounds of IMI 3.0. Each round will be for 15 days each. Beneficiaries from migration areas and hard to reach areas will be targeted as they may have missed their vaccine doses during COVID19.
Dr Harsh Vardhan noted that IMI 3.0 will build on the gains of previous phases of the campaign and make lasting gains towards Universal Immunization: “Since its first phase, Mission Indradhanushhas covered 690 districts and vaccinated 37.64 million children and 9.46 million pregnant women. The present eighth campaign will target achieving 90% Full Immunization Coverage (FIC) in all districts of the country and sustain the coverage through immunization system strengthening and foster India’s march towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”
As per the Guidelines released for IMI 3.0, the districts have been classified to reflect 313 low risk; 152 as medium risk; and 250 as high risk districts.
Expanding on the role of the campaign in the context on the present COVID crisis, the minister said, “The country has successfully been able to contain COVID19 and the drive for two indigenous vaccines is being carried out in the country. With this, the importance of a vaccine has never been so strongly felt.
“Every year the Universal Immunization Programme caters to the vaccination needs of 2.65 crore children and 2.9 crore pregnant women against 12 Vaccine Preventable Diseases. Despite these efforts by all the States and UTs, some children and pregnant women get missed out from this network.
“Mission Indradhanush is indeed a successful strategy to reach out to every dropped out and left out child and pregnant woman. There has been remarkable improvement in the immunization coverage which is also evident in the NFHS5 data as available for 22 States.”
On the massive push to provide affordable health to the last citizen, the minister observed, “Implementing large campaigns like Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0 even during the roll out of COVID-19 vaccine is a clear indication of India’s health system getting stronger day by day. Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0 (IMI 3.0) aimed to reach the unreached population with all the available vaccines under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) and thereby accelerate the full immunization and complete immunization coverage of children and pregnant women.” He also detailed the provisions in the Budget that lays high priority on health and wellbeing.
Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey said, “The Mission Indradhanush campaigns have proven to be tailor made for the Indian context, and have given far reaching results during the earlier phases. Mission Indradhanush & Intensified Mission Indradhanush has enabled the immunization system in reaching hard to reach and high-risk areas including brick kilns, construction sites and nomadic population. The previous campaigns also helped in improving the micro-planning, generating demand for immunization services and strengthening the supporting systems.”
Both the Ministers were satisfied that COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) will be ensured during the immunization activities held as part of the IMI 3.0 campaign. States have been asked to follow “Staggered Approach” to avoid crowding at the session sites and even plan Break-up sessions if staggered approach is not effective to avoid crowding. The sessions are also planned in such a way that not more than 10 beneficiaries are present at the session site at one given point in time.
It may be noted that the Government of India launched “Mission Indradhanush” in December 2014 to strengthen and re-energize the programme and achieve full immunization coverage for all children and pregnant women at a rapid pace.
The ultimate goal of Mission Indradhanush is to ensure full immunization with all available vaccines for children up to two years of age and pregnant women.
To begin with, the Government had identified 201 high focus districts across 28 states in the country that have the highest number of partially immunized and unimmunized children.
To further intensify the immunization programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) on October 8, 2017. Through this programme, Government of India aims to reach each and every child up to two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme/UIP.
Under IMI, four consecutive immunization rounds were conducted for 7 days in 173 districts (121 districts and 17 cities in 16 states and 52 districts in 8 northeastern states) every month between October 2017 and January 2018.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) covered low performing areas in the selected districts (high priority districts) and urban areas. Special attention was given to unserved/low coverage pockets in sub-centre and urban slums with migratory population. The focus was also on the urban settlements and cities identified under National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).
To boost the routine immunization coverage in the country, Government of India introduced Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 to ensure reaching the unreached with all available vaccines and accelerate the coverage of children and pregnant women in the identified districts and blocks from December 2019-March 2020.
The IMI 2.0 aims to achieve targets of full immunization coverage in 272 districts in 27 States and at block level (652 blocks) in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar among hard-to-reach and tribal populations.
And now, let us welcome the IMI 3.0