Hyderabad: In India, clinicians have found that the polio vaccine is the only one that is considered necessary of the three vaccines given at the time of birth (Polio, BCG and Hepatitis B)
“In India, parents think that if one has been vaccinated for polio that is enough and one does not require any more vaccines,” says Dr Pramati Reddy, general physician at Apollo Hospitals. “We need to increase awareness about vaccines in the population and a clear list must be made out of the vaccines that are required and compulsory for children.”
The awareness created for the polio vaccine with the help of the community must extend to other vaccines, say paediatricians, who are finding a lot of resistance at the community level to the various vaccines children should be getting between the ages of 0-5 (see box).
“If there has been an adverse event in the family, convincing those members takes quite some time, says paediatrician Dr Preeti Sharma. “There is hesitancy about government programmes of vaccination, apart from polio. Those who can afford it say they will give it on their own in private clinics and do not take part in mass immunisation programmes. These fears have to be expelled and the government has to continuously work towards achieving this goal.”
Estimates show that 44 per cent of children in India still do not receive the vaccines they should despite free government vaccination programmes at public health centres....