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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has made impressive progress in immunization coverage in the past 30 years with 117.6 percent increase in the proportion of children (ages 12 to 23 months) who were fully immunized between 1990 and 2020, a new study of the World Bank said.

Country Director World Bank for Pakistan, Najy Benhassine said in his tweet on Monday that the World Bank has issued a policy note on the new study outlining 30 years of progress for children’s full immunization in Pakistan.

The policy note added that consequently, the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) has reduced.

Immunization remains a high priority for the government of Pakistan and an important part of making progress towards universal health coverage and building resilient health systems.

The government initiated the National Immunization Support Project (NISP) in 2016 with financing from partners including the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the policy note added.

It said NISP is a five-year project, scheduled to close in June 2022, which supports and incentivizes the implementation of the government’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI).

NISP has been instrumental in reducing childhood morbidity and mortality from VPDs through strengthening of EPI systems and expanding immunization coverage, particularly between 2018 and 2020.