Did you know that the last week of April is celebrated as World Immunisation Week? And that India has among the largest Universal Immunisation Programmes in the world? It targets nearly 27 million newborns and 29 million pregnant women annually.
Until 1985, India's immunisation programme was largely restricted to just urban areas. When it launched in 1985, it targeted just 31 districts in the country. Only by 1990 did it cover the entire country.
Only 65 per cent of children in India receive full immunisation during the first year of their life. Globally, 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if children were vaccinated.
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