ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Policy Complementarities in Achieving Universal Immunisation Coverage in India

The role of two policy pillars in achieving immunisation coverage of essential vaccines in India is examined by assessing the funds disbursed by the centre to the state governments under the Universal Immunisation Programme and the available physical health infrastructure in the states. It is found that funds by themselves are ineffective in improving vaccination coverage but are effective in conjunction with the available infrastructure. This finding has important implications for achieving full immunisation coverage, which stems from the sharing of responsibilities between the central and state governments under India’s federalised system of government.

The first author would like to thank the participants at Research and Creative Activities Poster and Performance Day at Western Michigan University, University of Michigan Library and Brookings Institution India Center.

Achieving universal health coverage is a target under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 and is a crucial policy goal for many developing countries, including India. Among the many tenets of universal health coverage is achieving full coverage of essential vaccines for all children. Indias Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) was launched in 1985 to achieve this goal across the nation. A recent notable achievement of UIP has been the declaration of India to be polio-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014. While UIP has been effective in raising the rates of immunisation coverage across the country over the last three decades, full coverage across the country is yet to be reached.

In this article, our goal is to scrutinise the two major policy instruments used for administering immunisations through a collaboration between the central and state governments of India. The two policy pillars are: (i) immunisation funds disbursed by the central government (financial capital); and (ii) state health infrastructures measured by the number of health centres (proxy for physical capital).1 The outcome variable is the achieved vaccination coverage (number of children vaccinated).

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Published On : 12th Jan, 2024

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