Immunization is the process whereby a child is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease by the administration of a vaccine. Immunization helps protect the child from life threatening disease. It also helps reduce the spread of disease to others.

Vaccines work by preparing a child’s body to fight illness, by inducing the body to produce disease fighting particles called antibodies. It improves the child's immune system.

A child can be immunized in nearby government health facility or outreach session site by ANM/staff nurse/doctor. The immunization services are also provided by the private health facilities and private doctors.

Immunization against the vaccine preventable diseases are provided free of cost in government health facilities and at outreach session sites under the Universal Immunization Program (UIP).

In our country, under the UIP, vaccines are provided against 7 life threatening diseases i.e. Tuberculosis, Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus and Measles. In few selected states and districts, vaccines are also provided against Haemophilus influenzae type B and Japanese Encephalitis

For most children, there are no side effects from immunization. However, some children may experience mild pain, swelling and/or redness at the injection site which goes away within a few days. Serious side effects are rare. However, vaccines are continuously monitored for safety and like any medication, vaccine may cause side effects.

As per National Immunization Schedule the children can get the vaccines at birth, at 6, 10 and 14 weeks and then at 9 months. The booster doses are given at 16-24 months and then at 5 years of age.

Vaccinations are intended to keep children healthy. Vaccines work by protecting them before disease strikes. If you wait until your child gets sick, it will be too late for the vaccines to work.

Yes, during pulse polio campaigns, it is necessary that all children below 5 years should be given additional OPV doses.

IPV refers to the Inactivated Poliovirus. IPV consists of inactivated (killed) poliovirus strains of all three poliovirus types and is given as injectable vaccine.

Yes, IPV is one of the safest vaccines. It protects children against all three types of poliovirus.

No IPV (injection) will not replace OPV (polio drops). OPV will continue to be given as part of the routine immunization and polio rounds. IPV is to be administered in addition to the third dose of OPV in the same visit.

Although India has been declared polio free, wild poliovirus is still present in neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. The poliovirus can be imported by travelers across countries. Till such time as the poliovirus is not eradicated from all the countries of the world, the threat of re-emergence and reinfection of polio remains. This is an important step towards global; eradication of polio which is being implemented in all countries.

The child and the community are doubly protected against polio when an IPV injection and third dose of OPV are given together. IPV and OPV provides additional protection to the child, together that prevents re-emergence and re-infection of the poliovirus. It is safe to give OPV and IPV together. There are many countries that are already giving OPV and IPV as part of their routine immunization schedule.

Yes, even after receiving IPV and OPV doses under routine immunization, the eligible child must continue to receive OPV does during Pulse Polio campaigns also. This will boost the child’s immunity and will continue to protect the child and community against polio.