India's immunisation milestone: national action, global impact

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India has the largest number of unimmunised children in the world: 6.8 million or roughly a third of the world’s total. From November 2014, and with help from Gavi, India will begin making the 5-in-1 pentavalent vaccine available for all infants.

Read Gavi's full statement, 01 Nov 2014: Pentavalent vaccine introductions represent historic milestone for immunisation in India 

Although some parts of India have high vaccination coverage rates for diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine, huge disparities exist. Switching to pentavalent will provide protection against a broader range of infectious diseases and is expected to increase immunisation coverage.

With 27 million children born in India each year, increasing immunisation coverage here should significantly reduce global child mortality rates.

India pentavalent vaccine status Oct 2014  

Geography of India's scale-up

Pentavalent vaccine is currently available free of charge in eight states, thanks to support from Gavi. There will be a two-phase approach to the national scale-up:

Phase 1: 12 additional states, starting with Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. By December two-thirds of infants born in India each year will have access to pentavalent vaccine;

Phase 2: The remaining 16 states will introduce the vaccine in April 2015.

introduction phases

People preparing for penta

From reviewing the supply chain and cold storage facilities to the training of staff, including community outreach workers, scaling up India's pentavalent programme has been an immense undertaking.

Watch these videos for three individual insights into India's successful preparation.

 
 

Vaccine portraits on vaccineswork.org


Pentavalent vaccine

Pentavalent combines DTP with two additional vaccines that protect against hepatitis B (hepB) and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) -- all in a single jab. In India there are as many as three million cases of Hib disease each year, resulting in the deaths of 72,000 children under five.

Pentavalent: 1 vaccine, 5 diseases, 73 countries

 

Pentavalent infographic

The 5-in-1 pentavalent vaccine is now available in all Gavi-supported countries at a record low price, but only 50% of the children are being reached.

Gavi pentavalent vaccine infographic

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