4% children in J&K not receiving any vaccine at all: Survey

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Kathua only district with 100 percent vaccination

Srinagar, May 27: Four percent of children in Jammu and Kashmir aren’t receiving any vaccines against six major childhood illnesses: tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and measles, the National Health and Family Survey-5 (NHFS-5) has reported.

Official data with news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that Kathua district has highest coverage of all basic vaccinations in all districts while Doda with 62 percent has least coverage.

“Vaccinations are considered as the most cost-effective intervention that can improve the overall health of children. Eighty-six percent of children age 12-23 months received all basic vaccinations against six major childhood illnesses (tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and measles) at any time before the survey. However, 96 percent of children are at least partially vaccinated; only 4 percent have not received any vaccinations at all. It should be noted that the Penta vaccine was not widely available at the time of the NFHS-4 survey, Vaccinations were recorded from a vaccination card for a large majority (86%) of children, which is a slight increase since NFHS-4 (80%),” reads the survey.

“Ninety-five percent of children have received a BCG vaccination. However, 88 percent have received the recommended three doses of the polio vaccine, 93 percent have received the three recommended doses of DPT or Penta vaccine, and 92 percent have been vaccinated against measles. There is a dropout between the first and third doses of DPT vaccine (from 95% to 93%) and polio vaccine (from 94% to 88%),” the survey states further.

“Between NFHS-4 and NFHS-5, there was an increase in vaccination coverage for three doses of DPT (from 88% to 93%), and measles (from 86% to 92%). The coverage for three doses of the polio vaccine also increased, from 84 percent to 88 percent. Overall, there was encouraging change in the coverage of all basic vaccinations (from 75% to 86%). The coverage of the BCG vaccine has declined by 1 percentage point from NFHS-4 to NFHS-5 (from 96% to 95%). In addition, Ninety four percent of children have received at least one dose of hepatitis B vaccine, and 91 percent of children have received all three recommended doses of hepatitis B vaccine,” it says.

“Coverage with all basic vaccinations is higher for girls than boys (88% versus 85%) and for rural than urban areas (87% versus 83%). Coverage with all basic vaccinations is higher among children from scheduled castes (95%) than children from any other castes/ tribes groups,” the survey says—(KNO)