61% children missing vaccination due to information gap, misconception: SIO

ITANAGAR, Jan 30: “Nearly 61 percent of children are missing vaccination due to information gap, apprehension of adverse events following immunization, and misconception about the effect of immunization on the body’s immunity and infertility,” State Immunization Officer (SIO) Dr D Padung said on Thursday.
He was addressing an ‘Orientation workshop on Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) for artists of registered troupes of song & drama division and officials of the field outreach bureaus of Arunachal region’ here on Thursday. It was organised by the Itanagar Regional Outreach Bureau (ROB) and the immunization wing of the health & family welfare department.
Dr Padung allayed fears of parents over the few adverse effects of immunization – such as fever caused by DPT/Pentavalent vaccines – and urged the public “not to get misled by any media reports and rumours.”
He informed that immunization coverage in the state is 70 percent “and efforts are being made to reach 90 percent of the target groups by carrying out extensive campaign under the IMI 2.0.”
Dr Padung sought the help of the song and drama troupes in “reaching out to 30 percent of the target groups not covered so far by way of infotainment during the third and fourth round of IMI 2.0, beginning from 3 February and 2 March, respectively.”
Itanagar ROB Director Keshavamurthy underlined “the importance of traditional folk dance/drama and music as a medium of conveying important messages on government programmes and schemes in remote areas/villages in a simple and clear manner.”
Lauding the union information & broadcasting ministry’s initiative of using folk media to spread awareness about important government initiatives, Family Welfare Director Dr A Yirang emphasized the need to have “short, clear and specific messages related to immunization.”
The Itanagar ROB and its field outreach bureaus, with the support of district immunization officers, will be organizing 10 field programmes in each of the 16 districts identified by the union health & family welfare ministry for creating awareness on vaccination against 12 dreaded diseases during February.