Published on: March 18, 2023

National Vaccination Day

National Vaccination Day

Why in news? National Vaccination Day or National Immunisation Day is celebrated on March 16 every year across the country to spread awareness about the importance of vaccines in the human health.


  • This day highlights the importance of vaccines in to fight against the fatal diseases and to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work of doctors, frontline health care workers for ensuring the vaccination of every child.

What is the history ?

  • The day was first observed in in 1995 when the government of India officially launched the Pulse Polio Immunisation program to eradicate polio from the country.
  • On March 16, 1995, the first dose of the oral polio vaccine was administered in India as part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which began in 1988.
  • The vaccination program was popularised through a nationwide campaign called ‘Do Boond Zindagi Ki’.
  • Children of age 0-5 years are administered two drops of the vaccine orally at public health centres.
  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the last Polio case was reported in West Bengal’s Howrah in 2011 and the WHO declared India Polio free on March 27, 2014.

What is the significance of the day ?

  • National Vaccination Day is observed to create awareness among people about the benefits of vaccination children and adults.
  • India is now moving towards the eradication of measles and rubella through the vaccination of over 324 million children through MR vaccination campaigns.
  • India recently witnessed how one vaccine helped almost every citizen of the country to become immune against Covid-19 even as more variants took over.

About Mission Indradhanush

  • The government of India launched Mission Indradhanush in 2014 to ensure full immunisation with all available vaccines for children up to two years of age and pregnant women.
  • India is moving towards the eradication of measles and rubella and has set a target of 2023 for covering children and pregnant women.
  • Measles kills more than a lakh children globally and Rubella causes birth defects. Both can be prevented by Vaccines.

Under Mission Indradhanush, which Vaccines are covered?

  • It provides vaccination against Diphtheria, Whooping Cough, Tetanus, Polio, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, Meningitis and Pneumonia, Haemophilus Influenzae Type B infections, Japanese Encephalitis (JE), Rotavirus, Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) and Measles-Rubella (MR).