Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The State of the World’s Children 2023

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Social Justice

 

Source: TH, UNICEF

 Context: UNICEF released its global flagship report ‘The State of the World’s Children 2023: For Every Child, Vaccination,’ highlighting the significance of childhood immunization.

What is Immunization?

Immunization, also known as vaccination, is the process of protecting an individual or a population from disease by introducing a substance that stimulates the body’s immune system to recognize and fight the disease-causing agent, such as a virus or bacteria.

 

The major findings of the report are:

Finding Example
The decline in vaccine confidence globally Over a third of the 55 countries studied for vaccine confidence showed a decline.
The largest decline in childhood immunization in 30 years A total of 67 million children missed out on vaccinations between 2019 and 2021. In 2022, the number of measles cases was more than double the total in the previous year.
Existing inequities in vaccination access Unvaccinated children often live in hard-to-reach communities such as rural areas or urban slums.
The growing threat of Vaccine Hesitancy There is a growing threat of vaccine hesitancy due to factors such as access to misleading information and declining trust in vaccine efficacy.

 

India-specific findings:

Decrease in the number of zero-dose children during the pandemic Between 2020 and 2021, the number of zero-dose children in India decreased from 3 million to 2.7 million. However, India was among the top 20 countries with the largest numbers of zero-dose children
Improvement in the ‘Importance Given to Vaccines’ 98% of the population in India currently perceive vaccines as important for children

 

 

Recommendations:

Emphasizes sustained evidence-based catch-up campaigns India was able to bring down the number of zero-dose children due to sustained evidence-based catch-up campaigns (e.g., Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI), ASHA workers, routine immunization)
Accelerating the implementation Increase the implementation of Immunization Agenda 2030 and Gavi Strategy 5.0 to promote equity and sustainably scale up immunization coverage.
Strengthen demand for vaccination Demand for vaccination can be strengthened by talking to communities, tackling gender barriers, and rethinking accountability in health systems.
Importance of investing in primary healthcare Spending more on immunization and health by investing in primary health care at the national level can help promote sustainable and equitable vaccine coverage.
Need to build resilient systems E.g., India’s digital health platform TeCHO+ (Technology Enabled Community Health Operations) and electronic vaccine intelligence network (eVIN) increased vaccination coverage while enhancing data entry efficiency

 

 

Conclusion:

Reaching the last child with immunization is a key marker of equity that benefits not only the child but also the whole community. Routine immunizations and strong health systems can best prepare us in preventing future pandemics and reducing morbidity and mortality.

 

 

Terms used: 

  • “Zero dose children” refers to children who have not received any vaccines at all or have not received any vaccines according to the recommended schedule for their age.
  • Vaccine Hesitancy: Vaccine hesitancy refers to the reluctance of an individual or a group of people to get vaccinated despite the availability of vaccines.
  • Vaccine confidence refers to the level of trust and belief individuals and communities have in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

 

About UNICEF:

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (est. 1946; became a part of UN in 1953; HQ: New York) is an agency of the United Nations (UN) devoted to aiding national efforts to improve the health, nutrition, education, and general welfare of children. It is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989.

Insta Links

NATIONAL IMMUNISATION DAY

 

Mains Links

 It is found that vaccines taken during childhood do not protect against diseases throughout a person’s lifetime. Examine why. Also, discuss the importance of Child vaccination. (250 Words)

  

Prelims Links

‘Mission Indradhanush’ launched by the Government of India pertains to ( UPSC 2016)

(a) immunization of children and pregnant women

(b) construction of smart cities across the country

(c) India’s own search for Earth-like planets in outer space

(d) New Educational Policy

 

Ans: A