Tuesday, 7 February, 2023
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HEALTH

Routine immunisation decreases due to COVID-19



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Kathmandu, Sept. 21: The routine vaccine coverage of the country has spiralled down in the post-pandemic period in comparison to the pre-pandemic.

Of the 12 types of vaccines that are generally administered as the routine vaccine in Nepal, the administration of seven antigens has gone down in the post-pandemic period, as per the data of the department of health services (DoHS).

According to Sagar Dahal, Chief of the National Immunisation Programme, administration of BCG, Pentavalent1, Bivalent oral polio vaccine 1 (bOPV1), bOPV3, Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccines (PCV1), PCV3, and Measles-Rubella (MR1) have decreased in the post-pandemic period in comparison to the pre-pandemic.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus became to administer a vaccine against COVID-19 vaccine because of which the routine vaccine coverage was disturbed,” Dahal said, “The routine vaccine coverage is yet to reach in the pre-pandemic state.”

He, however, said that every unit of the department of health services is working in accelerating and strengthening the routine vaccine coverage nationwide, which was disturbed because of a pandemic.

According to the data of the DoHS, routine vaccine coverage of BCG has decreased to 90 per cent in 2020/21 from 90.9 per cent of 2018/19, administration of Pentavalent1 has decreased to 88 per cent in 2020/21 from 90.8 per cent of 2018/2019, administration of Bivalent oral polio vaccine 1 (bOPV 1) has decreased from 87.8 in 2018/19 to 83 in 2020/21 and bOPV3 has decreased from 83.5 per cent of 2018/19 to 81 per cent of 2020/21.

Similarly, routine vaccine coverage of Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccines (PCV1) has decreased from 88.3 in 20118/19 to 86 in 2020/21, PCV2 has decreased from 81.1 per cent in 2018/19 to 80 per cent of 2020/2021, and Measles-Rubella (MR1) has decreased from 83.6 per cent in 2018/19 to 82 per cent in 2020/21.

Nonetheless, vaccine coverage of the remaining five vaccines has increased in the current fiscal year 2020/21. The routine vaccine coverage of  Measles-Rubella 2 (MR) has increased to 80 per cent, Inactivated Polio Vaccine – FRACTIONAL DOSE 1 (fIPV1) to 83 per cent, fIPV2 to 81 per cent, Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine to 84 per cent, and Pentavalent 3 to 87 per cent.