National Vaccination Day

 The National Vaccination Day, also called the National Immunization Day, is celebrated every year on March 16 to convey the importance of vaccination to the entire nation. The day was first observed in the year 1995, the year on which India started Pulse Polio Programme. This year, the National Vaccination Day is important as the country has started its biggest Covid-19 immunization programme early this year and has already crossed the 30 million mark.

According to the World Health Organization, immunization is a ‘health and development success story. It is the process through which an individual’s immune system becomes fortified against foreign harm causing agent.

The vaccines train a person’s immune system to create antibodies. The vaccines are killed or weakened form of germs like viruses or bacteria that cannot cause disease but make antibodies that will safeguard the body when an active and strong form of the disease attacks the body.

The National Vaccination day started with the aim of curbing Polio plaguing the world. The day was observed to better awareness about the disease and how it can be eradicated from the planet. About 172 million children are immunized during each National Immunization Day, said the website of the National Health Programme.

Under the Pulse Polio Programme, two drops of the oral vaccine were given to all children younger than five years of age. The programme worked effectively as on 27 March 2014, India was certified as a polio-free country along with 11 other countries of the South-East Asia Region of the World Health Organisation (WHO). These countries were Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, and Thailand. In India, the last case of polio patients was reported on 13 January 2011. Since then, vaccine has become an important preventive mechanism for difficult diseases like Tetanus, TB, DPT, Measles, Rotavirus, Mumps, etc. and even the coronavirus.

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