AIIMS Bhubaneswar organizes webinar on World Immunization Week

Bhubaneswar: The need for Vaccination is high in 2021 across the world because of the Covid 19 pandemic that has detached us all physically by its lethality. Vaccination at this point of time has become the only hope that would bring back the society together. Keeping in view the, potential of vaccine this year, the World Immunization Week 2021 has been themed,’ Vaccine Brings Us Closer’ that focuses on how vaccinations connect us to the people, goals and moments that matter to us most, helping improve the health of everyone, everywhere throughout life.
To mark the World Immunization Week 2021, which is observed on 24–30 April, the Dept of Community Medicine & Family Medicine (CM&FM) AIIMS Bhubaneswar organized a webinar on 30th April on World Immunization Week under the theme ‘Vaccine Brings Us Closer’ where issues such as vaccination for COVID as well as vaccination in general was discussed. The webinar was panelled by Dr. Bijay Panigrahy, Director of Family Welfare, Govt of Odisha; DR. Sanjay Rai, Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS New Delhi; Dr. Gitanjali Batmanabane, Director AIIMS Bhubaneswar; Dr. Sonu H Subba, HoD Dept of (CM&FM) AIIMS Bhubaneswar; Dr. Arvind Kumar Singh Associate Professor, Dr. Abhishek Mishra Assistant Prof and Dr. Swayam Pragyan Parida, Associate Prof from Dept of CM&FM AIIMS Bhubaneswar.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sonu H Subba, HoD Dept of (CM&FM) AIIMS Bhubaneswar said, “It’s an oxymoron to say that ‘vaccine brings us closer’ because this time the theme is Vaccine brings us closer but we are always talking about social distancing but it is not necessarily talking about the physical proximity. Even though in the past one year or more we have been socially distancing ourselves from our loved ones but the vaccine is way out. Eventually vaccine will helps us bring closer to them.” “We can also see that the vaccination is one of the most important public health discoveries. Over the past 30 years 50% of childhood deaths have been avoided in because of vaccine. And thanks to vaccine due to which we have been able to eradicate a very dreaded disease like small pox and we are on the verge of eradicating polio mellitus “
Speaking on AIIMS Bhubaneswar’s immunization service during pandemic, Dr. Gitanjali Batmanabane, Director AIIMS Bhubaneswar said, “The immunization clinic was one area of the hospital which remained opened throughout the pandemic even when our OPDs were closed, even now when our walking OPDs are closed but immunization is open because we do understand the priority that just because of the pandemic if anyone whether a child or an adult needing immunization whether it’s a routine or special immunization should not go away without getting immunization they need.“
“At this point of time we should encourage people to come forward and get vaccinated. Even though people are scared of getting vaccinated for COVID 19 we should start with encouraging our closed ones our family members to get the vaccine.” She said urging people to get themselves vaccinated for Covid 19.
Speaking on the role of vaccine in controlling the second wave of the pandemic in India, DR. Sanjay Rai, Centre for community Medicine, AIIMS New Delhi, said, “While people are asking everywhere whether there is an end to this pandemic, the answer is yes. This pandemic is going to get over through herd immunity either through natural infection or vaccination. And because we have already a number of vaccines, so the option is vaccination.”
“The vaccines that are presently given to people are safe and shouldn’t be doubted as they have been approved by the regulatory authorities after going through different phases of high clinical test by researchers. “India has approved three vaccines i.e., Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V which have gone all phases of trials and five more are there which are under trials now.” Around 15 cr people in India have been vaccinated as of January out of which 2.5 crore have been fully vaccinated and India stands 3rd globally in vaccinating its population.”
In the second wave, the vaccine will help in ways like it will reduce the risk of getting the disease as it works with body’s natural defence to build protection by recognizing the invading germ and producing antibodies. Vaccine will also help attaining herd immunity. Notably ,the vaccine requires 6 weeks to build protection, he further said.
Speaking on Vaccination in Odisha under Universal immunization Programme (UIP), Dr. Bijay Panigrahy, Director of Family Welfare, Govt of Odisha said, “During the pandemic the state has been ensuring all kind of immunization throughout” “Our objective has always been full immunization coverage under UIP. In India the full immunization coverage was 35.4% in NFHS 1 where as it has reached to 77.5% in NFHS 5. In Odisha the full immunization coverage was 55% in Annual Health Survey (AHS) year 10-11 but during 2021, as per data in spite of Covid pandemic we have maintained the immunization programme 85.4% in our state.”
“The nationwide lockdown in the first wave led to challenges in achieving complete immunization. However, in Odisha, we ensured immunization to all. We trained our frontline workers, and immunization was done in village level as well maintaining all covid norms” he further added.

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