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Why India Celebrates National Vaccination Day on March 16?

National Vaccination Day or National Immunisation Day is observed in India on 16th March every year.

What is Vaccination, and How is it Important?

According to the World Health Organisation, Vaccines typically contain inactive parts of the antigen that induces an immune response to a particular infectious disease. As the world is already dealing with a global pandemic, vaccines are an integral part of every country’s healthcare. According to experts, a timely dose of vaccines can prevent 2-3 million deaths every year from preventable diseases. 

Why is National Vaccination Day Celebrated on 16th March?

In the year 1995, when India was facing a Polio epidemic, the Indian government launched the Pulse Polio Campaign with the vision of eradicating Polio completely from India. On 16th March 1995, the first shot of Oral Polio Vaccine was given in India. The day plays an integral part in the country’s fight against the deadly disease. 

The campaign was very successful as the World Health Organisation declared India a Polio free Country on 27th March 2014. 

Covid-19 Vaccination Drive

As we are in the middle of fighting a pandemic caused by Covid-19, this day holds more significance now. The Covid-19 vaccination drive started in India on 16th January with vaccinating healthcare workers. Inoculation of the frontline workers began on 2nd February.

Currently, the drive is in its second stage, which started on 1st March, wherein senior citizens and people aged above 45 with specific comorbidities are being given the vaccine shot. 

With Covid-19 cases rising again, there’s a strong feeling that a new wave of Covid-19 is coming, and it might be more deadly. However, India’s vaccination drive is now the second-largest in the world, surpassing the UK.

According to the Union Health Ministry’s website, A total of 3, 29,47,432 doses of vaccine have been given till Tuesday 8 AM. 

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