National Vaccination Day 2024: Date, History, Significance

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National Vaccination Day

National Vaccination Day, also known as National Immunization Day, refers to an annual event that is celebrated in India on March 16. The aim of this observation is to promote vaccination campaigns throughout the country as well as raise awareness about their importance in fighting life-threatening diseases among the general public. Apart from this, the dar marks a pivotal chapter in the history of India which is India’s victory against polio disease. Let’s learn more about its history, theme, and significance. 

Name of the dayNational Immunization Day
Observed on 16 March
Reason To commemorate the use of the first polio vaccines in India.
Theme 2024Vaccines Work For All

Also Read: World AIDS Vaccine Day

When do we Celebrate National Vaccination Day in India?

India celebrates National Vaccination Day on 16 March to acknowledge and appreciate the dedication of frontline health care workers.

History of National Immunization Day

  • India gave its first dose of oral polio vaccination to its citizens on 16 March 1995. 
  • It was also the day when the country celebrated its very first National Immunization Day. 
  • This oral polio vaccination was an integral part of the government’s Pulse Polio Programme, which was planned to eradicate polio from the country. 
  • To achieve this, the plan included vaccinating hundreds of children every day.
  • Years later, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced India was polio-free on 27 March 2014.
  • Despite achieving the desired results, India, along with some other countries, decided to continue its vaccination campaigns to achieve complete polio eradication.

Also Read: World Rabies Day: Theme, History and More

Why is National Vaccination Day Celebrated?

It was in the year 1995 that the first dose of oral polio vaccination was administered in India. Since then, the Government of India has declared 16 March as the official National Immunisation Day which helped the Pulse Polio Programme in freeing the innocent children of India from polio and its harm. 

What is the Theme of National Immunization Day 2024?

Every year, India celebrates National Immunization Day with a specific theme focused on specific issues and challenges related to public healthcare. In 2024, the theme is Vaccines Work For All

Also Read: World Hepatitis Day 2023: Significance, Theme, Celebration

Source: Pretty As Picture

What is the Significance of National Vaccination Day?

In India, the annual observance of National Vaccination Day holds great significance due to several reasons such as:

  • Commemorating polio vaccination: It commemorates the day when the first polio oral vaccination was given in India on 16 March 1995. In this way, it also honors the country’s advancements in healthcare over the years.
  • Acknowledging and celebrating achievements: This day also gives us an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the countless efforts of doctors and nurses in freeing our country from polio and treating all other diseases. 
  • Collaboration: It also highlights the collaborative efforts of global bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF with India to help countries eradicate deadly diseases at all costs. 
  • Increase awareness: Another significance of this day is that it acts as the perfect platform to raise awareness of vaccines, and immunization, and educate the public on a massive scale.

Also Read: World Tuberculosis Day 2023

5 Quotes on National Vaccination Day

Vaccines are the tugboats of preventive health.

William Foege

It’s important for children to be vaccinated so that they have the opportunity to become adults.

Brad McKay

It is safe, and you can’t get safer than safe.

Jonas Salk

Misinformation or distrust of vaccines can be like a contagion that can spread as fast as measles.

Theresa Tam

Vaccines save lives; fear endangers them. It’s a simple message parents need to keep hearing.

Jeffrey Kluger
Prevention of Blindness WeekWorld Obesity Day
Rare Disease DayWorld Cerebral Palsy Day 
World Leprosy DayWorld Alzheimer’s Day


When is National Vaccination Day in India?

India celebrates its National Vaccination Day on 16 March every year. This day not only appreciates the hardwork and dedication of frontline healthcare workers but also highlights the importance of vaccination in our overall good health.

When was National Vaccination Day first celebrated?

The first-ever National Vaccination Day in India was celebrated on March 16, 1995. The date was specifically chosen as it was the day when the first dose of the oral polio vaccine was given in India. 

Which vaccine was given for the first time on National Vaccination Day?

India celebrated its first-ever National Vaccination Day on March 16, 1995. This was also the day when the country gave the first dose of the oral polio vaccine under the WHO campaign of 1988.

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