Himachal Pradesh has recorded the second-highest full immunisation coverage in children among 22 states and union territories covered under the first phase of the national family health survey 2019-20.
Around 89 per cent children in the state aged 12 to 23 months were found to be fully vaccinated, meaning they had been administered the complete set of vaccines as per the universal immunisation programme, according to the survey which covered nearly 11,000 households in the state.
The highest proportion of immunisation coverage – 95 per cent – was reported in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, the survey said. During the survey, the information about immunisation was based on either the children’s vaccination cards or their mothers’ recall.
In this respect, Himachal has improved significantly since the last such such survey held five years ago, when the proportion of fully vaccinated children was 69.5 percent. “This improvement has been possible because of technological intervention in planning and implementing the programme, combined with diligent functioning by field level officials. Himachal is among the only four states in the country where no gap in immunisation has emerged due to the ongoing Covid pandemic,” said Dr Nipun Jindal, state-level director of the national health mission.
According to the survey, Bilaspur and Chamba districts have reported one hundred per cent immunisation among children this time, up from 58 and 65 per cent respectively in the previous survey. Jindal said that Chamba was earlier covered under Mission Indradhanush due to a high proportion of partially immunised or unimmunised children, but these gaps have clearly been redressed now and the Centre has removed Himachal from the list of states covered under the mission. The lowest immunisation was recorded in Hamirpur (74 per cent) and Una (75 per cent).
Infant and child mortality rates come down in state
The neonatal mortality rate in Himachal has come down from 25.5 to 20.5 (per 1,000 live births), the infant mortality rate from 34 to 26, and the under-five mortality rate from 38 to 29, according to the survey. Dr Jindal attributed the decline in infant and under-five mortality rates to the improvement in immunisation.
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