Mail News Service
Jamshedpur, May 16: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), immunization is one of the most successful public health interventions to prevent deaths from infections such as diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus in all age groups. The 6 in 1 combination vaccination protects children from 6 serious illnesses that include diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, haemophilus influenza type B, hepatitis B, and poliomyelitis.
Explaining the need of the 6 in 1 vaccine, Dr Rajendra Kumar Agarwal, MBBS, DCH, MD Consultant Child Specialist & Neonatologist of Jamshedpursaid,“Combination vaccination has multiple advantages for parents and their children. It provides protection against six diseases in one shot, reduces the number of visits to the doctor’s clinic and causes less pain to the child. Therefore, parents are more comfortable in their children getting the combination vaccination. It also decreases the chances of missing out on any critical vaccination that are part of the pediatric immunization schedule.”
According to the immunization schedule of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, children would need to take the DTP-IPV-Hib-HepB vaccines at the age of 6, 10 and 14 weeks. 6-in-1 vaccination provides protection for these six diseases. 6 in 1 vaccination would mean that children take only two injections, 6 in 1 and pneumococcal vaccinations and one oral vaccine, rotavirus vaccination, on each of these occasions.
In recent years, India has intensified its efforts to increase immunization coverage in the country, which has resulted in significant improvement as shown by the National Family Health Survey – NFHS-5. The percentage of children aged 12 to 23 months who are fully vaccinated has increased from 62% (NFHS-4; 2015-16) to 76.4% (NFHS-5; 2019-‘21) in India and from 61.9 to 73.9 in Jharkhand. A recent study has also demonstrated that there has been a marked improvement in immunization coverage in rural areas, but limited improvement in urban areas.
“More needs to be done to make parents aware of the benefits of immunization and the availability of vaccines, to increase full immunization coverage to 90% and beyond,” averred Dr Agarwal.