NSO Punches Holes in Government’s Total Immunisation Claims


In News

While the government has claimed that its immunisation program has provided total immunisation for 83% of the children in the country, a new survey conducted by the National Statistical Offices (NSO) punches holes in the claim.


  • As per the NSO survey, only 60% of the children under five years of age have been completely immunised as against the government claim of 83% – the internal data of the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs till November 2018.
  • This too when 90% of the children in the county are born in an institution, either in a government or private facility.
  • The mismatch between the NSO data and the government’s claims highlights the failure of the healthcare system of the country on tracking children born in hospitals and immunising them.

The Data

  • The survey was conducted by NSO between July 2017 and June 2018.
  • It had covered 1.2 lakh households across the country.
  • While the proportion of fully-immunised children is 60% in the county, 2% of children are not getting any vaccination. The unimmunisied data of the NSO is in consonance with the government’s data.
  • The percentage of fully-immunised children in rural areas is 58.4% and in urban areas, it is 61.7%, according to the NSO data.
  • States like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh with the highest number of childbirths, the immunisation coverage is just 48% and 55%.
  • Even the best performing states in the country Andhra Pradesh (73.6%) and Kerala (72.8%) still need to cover much ground. 
  • According to the NSO data, 97% of the children in the country received at least one vaccine with 96% in urban areas and 90% in rural areas.

Mission Indradhanush

  • Mission Indradhanush is the government’s flagship program to completely immunise children in the country against diseases like Meningitis, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, pneumonia and measles.
  • While more funds have been allocated for the mission, the NSO data shows that coverage has remained stagnant over the years.
  • Further, the government has launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush in October 2017, aiming to achieve 90% immunisation by 2020.
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