Vaccines are the only effective way to protect children and adults from dangerous, life-threatening diseases. Keeping that in mind, the Indian Government implemented the Universal Immunization Program to vaccinate people from all districts of the country from 1989 to 1990. The new immunization schedule (2022) covers all lifecycle of people from birth to adulthood and prevents catching, spreading, and complications of:

  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Tuberculosis 
  • Hepatitis B
  • Haemophilus influenza type b.

We want to overview all vaccines from the recommended by the National CDC vaccine schedule to understand more why each one is important and should be given in a specific time interval. 


BCG vaccine

Over 220 thousand deaths yearly are caused by tuberculosis (TB) in India. This disease has an epidemic spread around the country and accounted for 26% of global tuberculosis incidents.

To prevent the spreading and complications of this life-threatening disease, the Indian Government established the National TB Elimination Program. One of the essential stages of this program is immunization with the BCG vaccine. BCG vaccine (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine) is the only licensed vaccine against TB. Its effectiveness is rated by 51% in preventing any tuberculosis disease and 78% against disseminated TB in the newborn.

Immunization with BCG should be performed as early as possible after a baby’s delivery and up to one year. Usually, it’s given within the first 24 hours after the birth.

This vaccine is usually given on the left upper arm intra-dermally. A mark on the skin after a puncture healing remains for life. Fortunately, this scar is small and almost invisible and is a fair price for protection from tuberculosis. 

If you have any additional questions about the BCG vaccine or its side effects, contact Viveo Health pediatrist online now. The leading telemedicine platform in India. 

Hepatitis B vaccination

The second vaccine that is given within the first 24 hours after the birth according to the New Immunization schedule 2022 is the hepatitis B vaccine which is the main preventive action against this contagious viral infection.

It’s known that hepatitis B is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV, and is transmitted through exposure to an infected person’s blood and body fluids. The untreated virus can cause severe complications such as chronic liver disease, which can develop into liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Complications of the infection cause over 115 thousand deaths in India. Safe and effective vaccines can help prevent the spread of the disease and deaths. The vaccine shot is usually given intramuscularly into the anterolateral side of the left thigh. In almost all cases, there are no scars left after the immunization. 

Polio-free vaccine

Poliomyelitis is a serious, disabling, and life-threatening disease. It primarily affects children under the age of 5 and has a high risk of meningitis and irreversible paralysis that can also lead to death.

One in 200 infected children develops paralysis of arms, legs, and muscles. Thanks to the active polio eradication government program that started in 1994, nowadays, India is considered a polio-free country, with 97% vaccination coverage against a target of 165 million children. The last polio case occurred over ten years ago in 2011 in Howrah in West Bengal.

There are two types of vaccines against polio in the new immunization schedule table:

  • Oral (OVP)
  • Inactive (IVP). 

The first one is given in two drops orally within 15 days after the birth. Then revaccination with the same vaccine OVP at six weeks, ten weeks, and 14 weeks, and at the age of 16-24 months.

At the age of 14 weeks, children in India are given inactive polio vaccine shots in addition to the OVP to provide the best protection from poliomyelitis. The IPV is given intramuscularly into the anterolateral side of the right thigh. 

5-in-1 pentavalent vaccine

Being an essential stage of the new immunization schedule, the combination 5-in-1 pentavalent vaccine takes a vital role in preventing children’s health from catching, spreading, and complications of five life-threatening diseases: 

  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis B
  • Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) bacteria.

This vaccine protects children from dangerous diseases, which includes Haemophilus influenza type b bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis.

This bacteria is a reason for over 360 thousand children’s death yearly, and up to 20% of these deaths are accounted for in India. The main reason for combining these components against five diseases in the one vaccine is to reduce the number of pricks since all vaccines are recommended to be given at the same age.

The pentavalent vaccine is given at the age of six weeks, ten weeks, and 14 weeks, intramuscularly on the anterolateral side of the left thigh. At the age of 16-24 months, children are given a booster dose of the DPT vaccine, which includes protection from diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus.

The second booster with this vaccine is given at the age of 5-6 years, and according to the Adult vaccine schedule from the age of 19 years, adults should be revaccinated with this vaccine every ten years. At the age of 10 years and 16 years children, it is also recommended to give a tetanus (TT) vaccine.

If you have any additional questions about the 5-in-1 pentavalent vaccine or its side effects, contact Viveo Health pediatrist online now

Rotavirus vaccine

Rotavirus vaccine effectively protects children from RV complications, such as gastroenteritis, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that lead to emergency in 15% of cases and to the hospitalization in 7% of cases. According to the new immunization schedule, the first dose of the vaccine is given to infants at the age of six weeks, and then revaccination at the age of 10 and 14 weeks. The rotavirus vaccine is liquid and is given orally in drops. 

Measles vaccination 

The measles infection caused over 140 thousand deaths globally in 2018. Most of these deaths were among children under five years old. The vaccine can prevent complications that become the main reason for deaths from measles. The global initiative to push vaccine coverage in 2018 reduced the number of measles deaths by up to 73%.

According to the National CDC vaccine schedule, the first dose of the measles vaccine is given from the age of 9 months to 12 months in the right upper arm. The revaccination with the second dose should be performed at the age of 16-24 months. 

Immunization schedule and its effectiveness

The Immunization Program has become India’s most effective and cost-effective healthcare intervention, offering free vaccines to prevent 12 high-contagious and dangerous diseases.

Thanks to its implementation in India, the mortality rate in children under five was drastically reduced. Also, this government program together with better hygiene and sanitation led to the elimination of polio in 2014 and maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination in 2015.

A few shots of a vaccine can prevent a child from hundreds of pricks, costly antibiotic therapy, complications, disabilities, and death, if the child catches one of the diseases. Keep vaccinations of your children and yourself up-to-date according to the recommended immunization schedule below.

The New Immunization Schedule in India and description of vaccines from it