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            Earlier this year, on October 2nd India marked the silver jubilee of its Pulse Polio campaign. The anti-polio campaign was launched 25 years ago for the first time in Delhi. It was later implemented as the Pulse Polio Campaign across the country. The result was that by 2011, India had completely eradicated polio. The Government set in motion an even more powerful and intensive vaccination drive. This one is aimed at preventing as many eight diseases under the Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0. This government’s flagship scheme is aimed at immunizing children under the age of 2 years and pregnant women. The vaccines will cover diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles, meningitis and Hepatitis B. Select areas will also be provided vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and hemophilus influenza. The IMI 2.0 aims to achieve targets of full immunization coverage in 272 districts spread over 27 States.


            Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization’ (EPI) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. In 1985, the programme was modified as ‘Universal Immunization Programme’ (UIP) to be implemented in phased manner to cover all districts in the country by 1989-90 with the one of largest health programme in the world. UIP become a part of Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme in 1992. Since 1997, immunization activities have been an important component of National Reproductive and Child Health Programme and is currently one of the key areas under National Health Mission (NHM) since 2005. Despite being operational for many years, UIP has been able to fully immunize only 65% children in the first year of their life.


Mission Indradhanush

  • It was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India on December 25, 2014.
  • Between 2009-2013 immunization coverage has increased from 61% to 65%, indicating only 1% increase in coverage every year.
  • To accelerate the process of immunization by covering 5% and more children every year, Indradhanush mission has been adopted to achieve target of full coverage by 2020.


  • The Mission Indradhanush aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated, or are partially vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases.
  • India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) provide free vaccines against 12 life threatening diseases, to 26 million children annually. 
  • The Universal Immunization Programme provides life-saving vaccines to all children across the country free of cost to protect them against Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea. (Rubella, JE and Rotavirus vaccine in select states and districts).


  • Focused and systematic immunization drive will be through a “catch-up” campaign mode where the aim is to cover all the children who have been left out or missed out for immunization.
  • Also the pregnant women are administered the tetanus vaccine, ORS packets and zinc tablets are distributed for use in the event of severe diarrhoea or dehydration and vitamin A doses are administered to boost child immunity.
  • Mission Indradhanush Phase I was started as a weeklong special intensified immunization drive from 7th April 2015 in 201 high focus districts for four consecutive months. During this phase, more than 75 lakh children were vaccinated of which 20 lakh children were fully vaccinated and more than 20 lakh pregnant women received tetanus toxoid vaccine.
  • The Phase II of Mission Indradhanush covered 352 districts in the country of which 279 are medium focus districts and remaining 73 are high focus districts of Phase-I. During Phase II of Mission Indradhanush, four special drives of weeklong duration were conducted starting from October 2015.
  • Phase III of Mission Indradhanush was launched from 7 April 2016 covering 216 districts. Four intensified immunization rounds were conducted for seven days in each between April and July 2016, in these districts.
  • Overall, in the first three phases, 28.7 lakh immunisation sessions were conducted, covering 2.1 crore children, of which 55 lakh were fully immunised. Also, 55.9 lakh pregnant women were given the tetanus toxoid vaccine across 497 high-focus districts.
  • Since the launch of Mission Indhradhanush, full immunisation coverage has increased by 5 per cent to 7 per cent.
  • Mission Indradhanush has resulted in a 6.7 % annual expansion in the immunization cover.
  • Phase IV of Mission Indradhanush was launched from 7 February 2017 covering the North-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. It has been rolled out in rest of the country during April 2017.
  • The four phases of Mission Indradhanush have reached to more than 2.53 crore children and 68 lakh pregnant women with life-saving vaccines.
  • The Ministry is being technically supported by WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and other donor partners. Mass media, interpersonal communication, and sturdy mechanisms of monitoring and evaluating the scheme are crucial components of Mission Indradhanush.

Strategy for Mission Indradhanush

·      Mission Indradhanush will be a national immunization drive to strengthen the key functional areas of immunization for ensuring high coverage throughout the country with special attention to districts with low immunization coverage.

The broad strategy, based on evidence and best practices, will include four basic elements-

  • Meticulous planning of campaigns/sessions at all levels: Ensure revision of microplans in all blocks and urban areas in each district to ensure availability of sufficient vaccinators and all vaccines during routine immunization sessions.
  • Effective communication and social mobilization efforts: Generate awareness and demand for immunization services through need-based communication strategies and social mobilization activities.
  • Intensive training of the health officials and frontline workers: Build the capacity of health officials and workers in routine immunization activities for quality immunization services.
  • Establish accountability framework through task forces: Enhance involvement and accountability/ownership of the district administrative and health machinery by strengthening the district task.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI):

·      The Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) has been launched by the Government of India to reach each and every child under two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme.

·      The special drive was to focus on improving immunization coverage in select districts and cities to ensure full immunization to more than 90% by December 2018.

·      Intensified Mission Indradhanush will covered low performing areas in the selected districts and urban areas.

·      Intensified Mission Indradhanush will had inter-ministerial and inter-departmental coordination.


Mission Indradhanush 2.0:

  • The government’s flagship scheme is aimed at immunizing children under the age of 2 years and pregnant women.
  • The Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 has been launched to focus on 272 districts of 27 states and 652 blocks of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar among hard-to-reach and tribal populations. 
  • The program aims to escalate efforts to achieve the goal of attaining 90% national immunization coverage across India.
  • The Intensified Mission Indradhanush immunization drive will consist of four rounds of immunization. The program will be completed by March 2020.
  • The salient features of IMI 2.0 are immunization activity will be in four rounds over seven working days. excluding the RI days, Sundays     and holidays. Enhanced immunization session with flexible timing, mobile session and mobilization by other departments,” an official statement said.
  • Mission Indradhanush 2.0 Highlights:
    • Enhanced immunization session with flexible timing, mobile session & mobilization by other departments
    • Enhanced focus on left outs, dropouts, and resistant families & hard to reach areas
    • Focus on urban, underserved population and tribal areas
    • Intensified Mission Indradhanush to be conducted till March 2020

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