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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 5411-5412  

Immunization and vaccination of children during current COVID-19 pandemic: Impact and recommendation guidelines for India


1 Faculty (Nutrition), State Government Nursing College, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
2 Professor and Principal, College of Nursing, AIIMS, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
3 Department of CTVS, AIIMS, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
4 Department of Physiology, AIIMS, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Date of Submission23-Jul-2020
Date of Decision20-Aug-2020
Date of Acceptance30-Aug-2020
Date of Web Publication30-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anshuman Darbari
Department of CTVS, AIIMS, Rishikesh - 249203, Uttarakhand; Institution of Work: State Government Nursing College, Dehradun -249201, Uttarakhand
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1508_20

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How to cite this article:
Bharadwaj J, Sharma SK, Darbari A, Patil P. Immunization and vaccination of children during current COVID-19 pandemic: Impact and recommendation guidelines for India. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:5411-2

How to cite this URL:
Bharadwaj J, Sharma SK, Darbari A, Patil P. Immunization and vaccination of children during current COVID-19 pandemic: Impact and recommendation guidelines for India. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Nov 25];9:5411-2. Available from: https://www.jfmpc.com/text.asp?2020/9/10/5411/299353



Considering protection from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) as a child's basic right and also need of society, vaccination service resumption amid this Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a priority.


  Global Impact on Childhood Vaccination Services Top


One of the less-publicized consequences of the pandemic is the impact on the delivery of important health services of globally adopted childhood vaccination services.[1] Lessons from the previous disease outbreaks well established about the health system crippling. Particular attention is required for the continuation and delivery of this essential health care for a specific population group, with ensured safety of health care workers.[2]

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Chief Dr. Robin Nandy highlighted fact that COVID-19 is already stretching the capacity of the healthcare system everywhere and it may become more exaggerated when it hit low-income countries and with disruptions in immunization services, the ultimate outcomes of millions of children may hang in balance.[3] WHO has released various guidelines [Table 1],[4] and operational guidance documents for maintaining essential health services.[5]
Table 1: Recommended guidelines by WHO in European regions for immunization programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic[4]

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  Indian Scenario Top


India was progressing well towards the sustainable development goal of bringing Infant mortality rate before this. But now, missing out essential vaccines could lead to resurgence of potentially fatal childhood diseases. Ultimately, it will severely threaten and reverse the gains, India has made by immunizing children against VPDs.

Initially, whole country but currently only some states have halted immunization activities because of this pandemic. Especially in rural areas, most children receive essential vaccines through government outreach services using health care workers as Ashas, who are now engaged in Covid-19 surveillance with contact tracing. Urban areas are also having severely hampered health care delivery services. Ministry of Health and family welfare (MoHFW) mentioned that all health services are deemed essential and need to be functional soon across the country. On the basis of WHO guidelines, MoHFW issued a 'Guidance Note' on April 14, 2020 on continuation of essential services. Key principles and guidelines which have to be followed are summarized in [Table 2].[6]
Table 2: Recommended key principles and guidelines by MoHFW, India for immunization services in children (including pregnant women) during the COVID-19 pandemic[6]

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Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
COVID-19's collateral damage could devastate low- and middle-income countries. [Last accessed on 2020 May 27]. https://www.gavi.org/news/media-room/covid-19-massive-impact-lower-income-countries- threatens-more-disease-outbreaks.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Elston JWT, Cartwright C, Ndumbi P, Wright J. The health impact of the 2014–15 Ebola outbreak. Public Health 2017;143:60-70.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
COVID- 19 disrupts vaccine delivery. R Nelson. The lancet/infection 2020: May 20:546. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099 (20) 30304-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
5.
Maintaining essential health services: Operational guidance for the COVID-19 context Interim guidance 1 June 2020. WHO Reference Number: WHO/2019-nCoV/essential_health_services/2020.2.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

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