The utilization of immunization services slowed down at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020. Still, coverage has improved subsequently because of series of measures been taken, the minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Ashwini Kumar Choubey, stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 20 September 2020. To restore universal immunization, the following steps were taken by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) during the Covid-19 pandemic:
States and UTs have been provided with a series of guidelines for delivering immunization services and reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent health plus nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services amid the Covid 19 pandemic. The same has also been reiterated in video conferences with the states and UTs. Guidelines are also uploaded on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) website for broader dissemination.
Regular reviews are being held with the States and UTs to discuss challenges being faced during the pandemic and the necessary measures to ensure immunization services.
Appropriate communication material has been developed and shared with the States and UTs for addressing vaccine hesitancy and strengthening routine immunization during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The supply chain of vaccines and other logistics has been ensured during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As per Health Management Information System (HMIS), 37,49,939 children were fully immunized in rural areas from April- June 2020, whereas 46,75,437 children have been fully immunized in rural areas during the same period last year.
After each immunization session, a duelist of beneficiaries is prepared to track and trace individuals who have missed their regular vaccine, including an individual who has missed vaccination due to the Covid-19 pandemic