Improving Immunisation Coverage in Rural India

The BMJ, 16 May 2010

Despite decades of rhetoric about improving health and two decades of economic growth, vaccination rates in India remain low. As in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and Afghanistan, measles vaccination rates in India are around 70%, and only 44% of children aged 1-2 years are fully immunised.1 Low vaccination rates have been alternately blamed on insufficient public funds, poor implementation of vaccination programmes, and a general apathy towards the health of the poor. Yet, we have remarkably little evidence to help us separate problems with implementation of vaccination programmes from design flaws that restrict take-up.