Health Department UT Chandigarh in support with The MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity Project successfully conducted a State Media Sensitization Conference on Intensified Mission Indradhanush 5.0 (IMI 5.0) in the esteemed presence of Dr Suman Singh, Director Health & Family Welfare cum MD NHM, UT Chandigarh and Dr Manjeet Singh, District Immunization Officer, UT Chandigarh. The meeting highlighted the importance of vaccinating eligible children and strengthening immunity amidst prevailing challenges. The event witnessed participation from prominent media representatives, health officials, and community stakeholders, all coming together to advocate for the success of Intensified Mission Indradhanush 5.0.

Addressing various factors that have limited vaccination coverage, IMI 5.0 targets populations facing barriers, striving to vaccinate children and eligible pregnant women who have been left out or dropped out of Routine Immunization activities. The state has already conducted comprehensive training at the State, district, and block levels, emphasizing the importance of reaching the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals and ensuring their inclusion in the immunization schedule.IMI 5.0 is committed to prioritizing children aged between 0 to 5 years who have not received any vaccines, with the goal of providing life-saving vaccinations to every eligible child. Additionally, the initiative represents a significant step towards achieving Measles & Rubella elimination nationwide, ensuring that every child under 5 years old completes the essential two-dose schedule of Measles and Rubella Containing Vaccine (MRCV).

Dr Suman Singh, Director Health & Family Welfare cum MD NHM, UT Chandigarh said, “IMI 5.0 serves as a steadfast commitment to reach those who have not yet received vaccinations, closing immunization gaps, and securing a healthier future for our children. We are dedicated to ensuring that every eligible child receives the necessary vaccinations to stay healthy, while also enhancing immunity throughout our region. With the collaborative efforts of The MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity Project, our healthcare teams, and the support of our community, we are determined to make a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of our children and build a stronger, healthier Chandigarh”.

Dr Manjeet Singh, District Immunization Officer, UT Chandigarh, highlighted the crucial role of the media in IMI 5.0, ” The role of the media in IMI 5.0 is crucial and cannot be underestimated. Media professionals play a vital part in effectively communicating the significance of vaccination, which, in turn, fosters community engagement and substantially boosts vaccine acceptance and coverage. By raising awareness and dispelling myths, journalists contribute significantly to the success of this life-saving initiative. We believe that by addressing the barriers to vaccination and implementing a targeted approach, we can make a substantial difference in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our children and pregnant women.”

Dr Gopal Krishna Soni, Project Director, MOMENTUM Routine Immunization said”. The MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation & Equity project have successfully facilitated the COVID-19 vaccination among the vulnerable and marginalized for the state governments of 18 states. The learnings from the COVID-19 vaccination drive will be leveraged in the uptake of Routine Immunization among children. The project has been mobilizing vulnerable & marginalized populations, addressing vaccine hesitancy and promoting community participation for vaccination. Our collective efforts in IMI 5.0 will guide us towards a future where preventable diseases are no longer a threat. By joining forces and fostering a strong partnership between healthcare providers, the media, and the community, we are confident in our ability to overcome vaccine hesitancy and pave the way for a healthier and disease-free society”.

One of the critical aspects of the initiative involves leveraging technology through the U-WIN portal. This innovative platform empowers healthcare workers to efficiently track and monitor the immunization status of children and pregnant women, thus ensuring comprehensive coverage and timely interventions.

About MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity Project 

MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity Project, supported by USAID, has mandated John Snow Research & Training Institute (JSI) to provide technical assistance to National and State Governments to ramp up COVID-19 Vaccination in India. John Snow India Pvt Ltd, an affiliate of JSI US is working in close collaboration with the Government of India to strengthen their outreach and delivery efforts with communities for vaccination; and through partnerships with local NGOs to increase demand, distribution and uptake of COVID-19 vaccination, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized populations across selected 18 states/UTs of India.