Aiming to achieve the target of 100 per cent vaccinations among children in Himachal Pradesh, the government has made it a must for all to produce certificate of 100 per cent vaccination for getting admission in schools.

Though no child would be denied admission in schools if one hadn’t been given all vaccinations that are prescribed under the Universal Immunization Programme.

The norm would be applicable for all schools whether private or government in the state from the next academic session.

Governor Acharya Devvrat had approved the government’s policy of seeking 100 per cent vaccination certificate from health centre or health worker of concerned child’s area from the parents.

The certificate of the doctor of a privately run clinic or hospital will also be valid for seeking admission.

“The move is aimed at achieving the target of 100 per cent coverage of all children under the Universal Immunization Programme,” BK Aggarwal, Additional Chief Secretary, Health said.

Now the parents of a child have to produce certificate of 100 per cent vaccination for seeking admission in Class I, though the criteria would not be applicable for admission to nursery classes.

All the schools in Himachal whether they are private or government or are registered with Central Board of School Education (CBSE) or Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) will have to comply with the directions.

They will have to maintain a record of all those students who could not complete the entire vaccination schedule.

The government has directed the principals of all schools to prepare a database of such students to identify such cases and take steps to ensure their vaccination.

“The list of such students would be submitted to concerned Block Medical officer (BMO) who would then forward it to concerned Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery (ANM) or Asha worker who would then be directed to complete it within three months,” a government official said.

It is worthwhile to mention here that Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), a vaccination programme for children upto the age of 5 years was launched by the Indian government in 1985.

The programme became a part of Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme in 1992 and since 2005, this was one of the key areas under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The programme consists of vaccination for 12 diseases – tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, hepatitis B, diarrhea, Japanese encephalitis, rubella, pneumonia (Heamophilus Influenza Type B) and Pneumococcal diseases (Pneumococcal Pneumonia and Meningitis).

Hepatitis B and Pneumococcal diseases were added to the UIP in 2007 and 2017 respectively.