National Immunization Awareness Month

The month of August, every year, is observed as the ‘National Immunization Awareness Month’ or NIAM. This is to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. While the world’s attention is focused on developing new vaccines to fight COVID-19, it is also necessary to ensure that routine immunizations are not neglected. During previous global pandemics, many children were not routinely vaccinated, and succumbed to severe illnesses like measles and polio. Therefore, maintaining routine vaccinations is extremely critical during or after a pandemic or other public health emergencies to avoid additional outbreaks of any kind.

What is Immunization?

Immunization is a “global health and development success story,” according to the World Health Organization. It is the one of the best health investments to have and among the most significant public health successes, saving millions of lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs. (1)

Vaccines contain a weakened version of live or dead bacteria or virus that cause diseases. This does not cause illnesses due to its inability to reproduce in the body, it trains the immune system recognise and produce antibodies against the disease.

Immunizations protect children from sickness, certain malignancies, hospitalisation, disability, and death. Paediatricians play a crucial role in immunizing children and are a trusted source for information regarding necessary vaccinations. It is advisable for parents to learn about the different vaccinations required for their children as early as possible, ideally during pregnancy through the first 2 months of their baby’s life.

National vaccination schemes adopted by Govt. of India

Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP)

A vaccination programme, launched by the Govt. of India in 1985, provides vaccination against various diseases like tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, hepatitis B, diarrhoea, Japanese encephalitis, rubella, pneumonia, Pneumococcal diseases. This drive became a part of ‘Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme’ and is one of the key areas under ‘National Rural Health Mission’. In 2017, the government spent INR 3,587 crore (US$500 million), to purchase the vaccines and provide it to the nation’s citizens, free of cost. (2)

Mission Indradhanush

The health mission, launched by Union Health Minister J.P Nadda in 2014, is regarded as one of the key schemes of the NDA Govt. of India. It aimed towards providing ‘90% full immunisation coverage of India’ and sustaining the same by 2020. This vaccination scheme, covers 8 vaccine-preventable diseases nationally, namely-  Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough, Polio, Measles, diseases caused by Haemophilus influenza type B; Rotavirus Diarrhoea and Japanese Encephalitis. (3)

Prioritizing good health, globally

Viruses and bacteria that cause ‘vaccine-preventable’ illnesses and death still exist, and infect people who haven’t been vaccinated. Despite enormous efforts, several countries still have insufficient access to vaccines, which has led to infectious diseases outbreaks and even deaths. Every year, newer, cost effective and efficient vaccines are developed to help increase the immunization rates globally. Nations with high immunization rates reduces the risk of exposing unimmunized people to diseases. These nations are known to develop ‘herd immunity’ that embodies the concept of ‘protecting the majority with safe vaccines and protecting those who cannot be immunized for medical reasons’.

Today, we have vaccines to prevent over 20 life-threatening diseases globally, and save over 203 million lives every year. Many widespread illnesses that formerly killed or injured tens of thousands of babies, toddlers, and adults have been reduced or eradicated through vaccines.

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Shubham Pharmachem’s blog posts have been written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical team strive to provide relevant information through such articles. However, we strongly advise readers to not consume or administer any medication without prior consultation with their doctor.


  1. World Health Organisation: [online]. Available at:{adgroupsurvey}&gclid=CjwKCAjwmeiIBhA6EiwA-uaeFbzqRCabKwd50oRdXTsAiwRAlFOdeke0bnmfvc3kK0feYzyI20Z4bhoCIucQAvD_BwE
  2. Wikipedia: [online]. Available at:
  3. Wikipedia: [online]. Available at: