India’s Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 5.0, a flagship immunization campaign launched by the Health Ministry, is nearing its conclusion today. This campaign, which strives to reach children who have missed vaccine doses or fallen behind their vaccination schedule, along with pregnant women across the country, has undergone some remarkable transformations this year.
IMI 5.0 Broadens Immunization Coverage Across All Age Groups and Districts
IMI 5.0 is a major undertaking to enhance immunization coverage for all vaccines provided under the Universal Immunization Programme, as per the National Immunization Schedule. Unlike previous iterations, this year, the campaign was conducted across all districts in the country and extended to include children up to five years of age, expanding the scope of its mission. Previous campaigns had only targeted children up to two years old.
Remarkable Progress by September 30
As of September 30, the campaign had already made impressive strides, with over 34,69,705 children and 6,55,480 pregnant women receiving vaccine doses during the first two rounds. A significant achievement given the challenges posed by the ongoing global pandemic.
Targeting Measles and Rubella Elimination
IMI 5.0 also carried a special focus on improving the vaccination coverage for measles and rubella. The goal is to eliminate both infections from the country by 2023. This critical aspect of the campaign aims to ensure that children and pregnant women receive the necessary doses to protect against these diseases, contributing to the nation’s broader public health goals.
Community and Influencer Engagement
A distinctive feature of this year’s campaign was the active participation of public representatives and social media influencers. They came forward in large numbers to encourage the public to visit the nearest vaccination centers and ensure that any missed vaccine doses for children and pregnant women in their families and communities are administered.
To ensure the effectiveness of IMI 5.0, a thorough preparedness assessment was carried out by national monitors between July 19 and 23. This assessment spanned 154 high-priority districts across 27 States/Union Territories. The findings of this assessment, along with recommendations, were shared with the respective states and union territories to make the campaign more efficient.
IMI 5.0 was divided into three rounds, each held on specific dates:
1.August 7 to 12.
2.September 11 to 16.
3.October 9 to 14.
Each round involved three days dedicated to immunization, with the inclusion of a routine immunization day. The U-WIN digital platform was used in pilot mode for routine immunizations to streamline the process.
U-WIN: A Comprehensive Immunization Program Registry and Management System
U-WIN serves as a comprehensive registry for immunization programs, spanning from birth to the age of 13. It maintains records from the initial birth registration to the administration of the final vaccine, and even provides alerts for upcoming vaccination schedules.
Beneficiaries have the option to schedule, monitor, and engage in ongoing or upcoming routine immunization programs. Additionally, certificates can be stored and organized through the DigiLocker app, ensuring safekeeping of essential documents.
With the exception of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Punjab, all other states and union territories have either completed or are about to conclude all three rounds of the IMI 5.0 campaign by October 14. The four states delayed the start of their campaign in August but have now finished the first round and are in the midst of conducting the second round. They plan to conduct the third round in November.
A Continual Success Story
Since 2014, India has successfully completed 11 phases of the Mission Indradhanush campaign, with an ongoing 12th phase. Cumulatively, a total of 5.06 crore children and 1.25 crore pregnant women have been vaccinated under the campaign, marking a remarkable achievement in public health and a testament to the government’s dedication to ensuring immunization coverage across the nation.