Expanded Program of Immunization in India: Time to Rethink and Revamp
The decades old Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) needs a relook in the context of availability of newer vaccines and changing epidemiology of diseases targeted by this program. There is marked geographic variation in the performance of this program all over the developing world. Many countries have adopted and tailored it to address the diseases prevalent in their communities. Of late, there are voices of concern over the utility of its current format and need to urgently revamp this program with inclusion of certain new vaccines. On immunological basis the EPI schedule currently adopted by many countries is not impeccable. The current viewpoint article examines virtues and shortcomings of current Universal Immunization Program (UIP) - an adopted avatar of EPI in India and offers suggestions to improve it further. The article takes a look at both the old as well as new vaccines and issues recommendations on the need of inclusion of them. It also scrutinizes the performance of UIP in India and offers solutions to further strengthen it.
Expanded Program of Immunization, Universal Immunization Program, vaccination schedules