Syeda Hamid, Member of Planning Commission, said that 2.5% of GDP will be used instead of 1.8% of GDP in health sector during next Plan Period. Addressing the International Vaccination Symposium at Surajkund near Delhi yesterday, 17 November 2011, Hamida said that this will be a very big jump. She said that to strengthen the National Immunization Programme we have to bring confidence in community and people to avail this help. She added that year by year achievement has to be recorded to get maximum benefits. Planning Commission will insists that what is spent has to be commensurate in result, she added.

Giving examples of her visit to Bhawanpura village in Haridwar district and Malegon she said, “These villages are inhabited by very poor people and surrounded by industries. Though sickness is rampant and level of poverty is high, they do not go to government dispensaries as they have no faith in medicines given to them and also have apprehension to what kind of treatment they will receive. Public health scenario is abysmal but women refuse to avail these facilities.”

For outreach programme, Syeda Hamid suggested that interaction of local police, Anganwadi workers, religious heads of different sects and others have to help in mobilizing people to accept health facilities. She also said that we have to break barriers and gender can play a big role in improving the situation.. Besides this, issues of sanitation, waste disposal, pollution by industries, better innovated delivery system ,road and transport etc have to be improved. Referring to the development in these sectors in Bangla Desh and Sri Lanka, She said this is an awakening call for us as we are lacking behind these countries in the field of Human Development. She suggested to follow the policy of 'break silos and conversion' to achieve larger goal of vaccination and bring the nation on human development in the context of health. All concerned Ministries, departments, sectors and aspects have to work together. Talking about 'Limited Evidence of Introduction of new vaccine', Smt Syeda said, “We must not wait for an enemy to enter our society. Such vaccines should be used as early as possible preventive measures.”

Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, its new initiatives - Vaccine Grand Challenge Program, Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Research Centre: Translational Health and Technology Institute, Clinical Development Services Agency and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) organized four day symposium which concluded today.

More than 100 world-leading experts from disparate fields of vaccinology in both its human and veterinary domains participated in it. The attendees included Vaccine Research scientists and developers from the public and private sector in India and globally including specialists or physicians in training in the following disciplines: infectious diseases, clinical microbiology/immunology, public health, vaccinology and other disciplines dealing with all aspects of vaccination. They discussed ideas and approaches among researchers often narrowly focused on their specific diseases or methods.