Impact on Routine Immunization Services During the Lockdown Period in India: Implications and Future Recommendations
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 5, Pages 35-40
AbstractWorld Health Organisation (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.For this advancement, countries all over the world has begun to implement lockdown as one of the strategies to tackle the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Like other countries, the lockdown in India also poses serious problems to the health industry and to many other sectors. One of the severely affected and ignored programs, the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP)which approximately addresses 27 million new-borns seeking immunization per year, is also suspended. In this scenario, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases could be catastrophic for communities and health systems which are battling the impacts of COVID-19. At present, there exists no definite medicine and vaccine for COVID-19. The immunity of an individual plays a crucial role in the prevention of disease as well as severity. The interruption of vaccination program can give rise to a resurgence of measles cases. This resurgence can lead to profound immunosuppressants which can cause an increased incidence of COVID-19 with a rise in the number of severe cases which eventually leads to increased mortality rate. Moreover, the suppression of immune function can lead to increased incidence of other infections which may have a huge burden to the healthcare system where services have already been compromised due to low resources. Lessons should be learned from Europe and Africa. Initiatives should be taken to restore the routine immunization program immediately with all precautionary measures as per WHO guidelines.
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