Hyderabad’s affluent fight shy of vaccination drive

The district’s complete immunisation drive will not yield comprehensive results as 20% of Hyderabad’s households located in affluent residential areas refused to let district health survey workers into their homes.

District health officials started a 10-day door-to-door household survey in the beginning of this month under the immunisation drive sponsored by Union government’s Mission Indradhanush. The survey aimed at identifying pregnant women and newborns to 24-month-olds who are not immunised.

While households in designated high-risk areas, including slums where migrants live, allowed survey workers to collect data, families in localities referred to as “high-range areas” failed to spare information on immunisation making the district administration’s data statistically incomplete, officials said. “Our workers had to skip those houses because they denied access. That means we have not covered 20% of the district’s population and their health records are not included in our data,” Dr. Nagarjuna Rao, district immunisation officer told
The Hindu
. Dr. Rao, however, maintained that residents of these localities “could be immunised as they are affluent”. “We, however, cannot be certain,” he added.

In Hyderabad, the vaccination drive started on Monday in 515 centres and will continue till July 26.

As part of the drive, pregnant women are offered two doses of Tetanus Toxin vaccine. Newborns are administered Hepatitis-B, Oral Polio Vaccine and Bacille Calmette Guerin for TB vaccines. Six-week-old babies are given injectable polio vaccine, pentavalent vaccine for diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).

Ten to 14-week-old babies are administered OPV, IPV and pentavalent vaccines and nine to 12 month-olds are given Menengitis-Rubella along with vitamin-A solution. Sixteen to 24-month-old babies are administered Hepatitis B and Diptheria, Tetanus toxoids and Pertussis (DPT) vaccine.

Skipped vaccination

In the district administration’s door-to-door survey, 2,804 pregnant women and 8,414 children were found to have skipped vaccination. “A majority of women and children who are not vaccinated belonged to migrant population who moved to Hyderabad from Rajasthan, Karnataka, and even Nepal. Focusing on this population is necessary even in the future,” the district immunisation officer explained. The second and third rounds of Mission Indradhanush will be held in August and September.

Collector Yogitha Rana flagged off the drive on Monday as district medical officials recorded 50% turnout at immunisation camps. “In the next few days, we will be able to complete immunising the target population. In the second and third rounds, those who avoided the survey could also participate if they skipped any vaccine,” Dr. Rao explained.

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