Established in 1978, the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) currently aims to vaccinate approximately Six million children aged 0-11 months against nine target diseases (Childhood Tuberculosis, Poliomyelitis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus Influenza Type b, Pneumonia, Measles) and the pregnant ladies against Tetanus.
Since the launch of the programme, the implementation of immunization activities has been carried out by the provinces themselves. The role of federal cell was only restricted to the provision of policy and technical guidelines, coordination for international assistance, surveillance and monitoring. Additionally, the programme also facilitated provincial health departments by procurement and supply of requisite vaccines and other logistics.
In pursuance of 18th Constitutional Amendment, Ministry of Health was abolished and vertical Programmes including EPI were devolved to provinces. However, the Council of Common Interests (CCI) in its meeting held on 28th April 2011 inter-alia decided that the Federal Government will continue to finance these programmes till the next National Finance Commission (NFC) award. Accordingly, the federal EPI cell continues to be financially supported through the federal PSDP regularly at the 2010-11 levels. The resources provided therein are primarily used to procure and supply the vaccines, syringes, safety boxes and other logistics needed by the provincial and areas to vaccinate their target populations. Nevertheless, the provinces and areas through respective EPI programme units are themselves responsible to manage the operational cost of the immunization activities at the provincial and district levels.