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Without it the nation would suffer heavy losses.
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Every year, 2.7 crore children are born in India. This is the sum that we hope becomes the dividend of India's growth equation. This cohort, it is projected, adds to India's celebrated profile of having the world's largest youth population for the next two decades -- approximately 356 million 10-24-year-olds. Projections peg great hope on this statistic, anticipating it to be the major factor driving the plot of India's growth story. However, there are daunting challenges accompanying this demographic advantage, particularly when it comes to health.
For India, World Immunisation Week (April 24-30) should be a time to take stock of a three-decade-long national immunisation programme and reflect on the challenges that prevent even the world's largest government-led immunisation scheme from reaching all its citizens. At present around 89 lakh children - one in every three children - don't receive all the vaccines available in the programme.