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National Vaccination Day

 The National Vaccination Day, also called the
National Immunization Day, is celebrated every year on March 16 to convey the
importance of vaccination to the entire nation. The day was first observed in
the year 1995, the year on which India started Pulse Polio Programme. This
year, the National Vaccination Day is important as the country has started its
biggest Covid-19 immunization programme early this year and has already crossed
the 30 million mark.

According to the World Health
Organization, immunization is a ‘health and development success story. It is
the process through which an individual’s immune system becomes fortified
against foreign harm causing agent.

The vaccines train a person’s
immune system to create antibodies. The vaccines are killed or weakened form of
germs like viruses or bacteria that cannot cause disease but make antibodies
that will safeguard the body when an active and strong form of the disease
attacks the body.

The National Vaccination day
started with the aim of curbing Polio plaguing the world. The day was observed
to better awareness about the disease and how it can be eradicated from the
planet. About 172 million children are immunized during each National
Immunization Day, said the website of the National Health Programme.

Under the Pulse Polio
Programme, two drops of the oral vaccine were given to all children younger
than five years of age. The programme worked effectively as o
n 27 March 2014, India was certified as a polio-free
country along with 11 other countries of the South-East Asia Region of the
World Health Organisation (WHO). These countries were Bangladesh, Bhutan,
Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nepal, Sri
Lanka, Timor-Leste, and Thailand. In India, the last case of polio patients was
reported on 13 January 2011.
Since then, vaccine has become
an important preventive mechanism for difficult diseases like Tetanus, TB, DPT,
Measles, Rotavirus, Mumps, etc. and even the coronavirus.

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