Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J. P. Nadda said that his ministry aims to achieve full immunization coverage for all children by 2020 through a Catch-Up campaign under Mission Indradhanush. The Mission Indradhanush, depicting seven colors of the rainbow, aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated, or are partially vaccinated against seven vaccine preventable diseases- diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B. Mr. Nadda launched it on Good Governance Day to mark the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Madan Mohan Malaviya and birthday of Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He said, "The focused and systematic immunization drive will be through a catch-up campaign mode where the aim is to cover all the children who have been left out or missed out for immunization. Under Mission Indradhanush, four special vaccination campaigns will be conducted between January and June 2015 with intensive planning and monitoring of these campaigns. The learning from the successful implementation of the polio program will be applied in planning and implementation of the mission. While 201 districts will be covered in the first phase, 297 will be targeted for the second phase in the year 2015."
201 high focus districts in the country have been identified, which have nearly 50 percent of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children. These districts will be targeted by intensive efforts to improve the routine immunization program. Out of the 201 districts, 82 districts are in just four states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and nearly 25 percent of the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children of India are in these 82 districts of four states.
The immunization coverage has increased from 61 percent to 65 percent, between 2009 and 2013. This indicates that there is only one percent increase in coverage every year. To accelerate this process of immunization by covering five percent and more children every year, the Mission Mode has been adopted to achieve target of full coverage by 2020.
The Health Ministry will be technically supported by WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and other donor partners.