The immunisation coverage among COVID-19-affected children in India has witnessed a reduction compared to the unaffected ones, a new study by the Lancet has stated.
The study titled, “The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on routine childhood immunization coverage and timeliness in India: Retrospective analysis of the National Family Health Survey of 2019–2021 data” showed that the first systematic estimates from household data of the effect of coronavirus and associated lockdowns on routine immunisation across the country.
The findings of the study showed that the immunisation coverage was lower in COVID-19-affected children as compared with unaffected children, ranging from 2% lower for bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and hepatitis B to 9% for diphtheria, tetanus toxoid and pertussis (DPT-3) and 10% for polio.
“Coverage reduction was greater for vaccine doses given at later age groups. The rate of timely receipt of polio and DPT vaccine doses was 3%-5% lower among Covid-affected children relative to unaffected children. Among population subgroups, Covid-affected male children and those from rural areas experienced the highest reduction in vaccine coverage,” read the report.