"The current immunisation rate in urban India is 67.4 percent and that in rural India is 58.5 percent.

"The reasons for the low rate of immunisation are lack of awareness among the parents about the benefits of vaccination, fear of side-effects of vaccination (adverse events following immunisation) and non-availability of vaccines or vaccinators at session sites etc," Health Minister J P Nadda said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

Nadda said that the funds allocated by the government to promote immunisation programme in India in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 are Rs 221.70 crore, Rs 188.91 crore and Rs 189.26 crore respectively.

"No funds have been allocated by the government for the development of new vaccines in the last three years," Nadda said.

Elaborating about steps taken by the government to improve immunisation rates, Nadda said that the government has been providing flexible funds to states for mobility support, alternate vaccine delivery and mobilisation of children accredited social health activists.

He said that government has also conducted special immunisation weeks from time to time in areas with pockets of low immunisation coverage while it is also implementing 'Mission Indradhanush' and target areas with partial immunisation and no immunisation in 201 high-focus districts.

Under the Mission, vaccination is provided to protect children against seven life-threatening diseases including diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and Hepatitis B.

Replying to another question, Nadda said that 1261.01 crore children have been vaccinated from 1995-96 to 2014-15 (upto Jan 2015) under the Pulse Polio programme.

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