Polio vaccination drive to begin in 68 districts on Aug 2

Published July 30, 2021
Polio vaccine drops are administered to a child in Peshawar. — Reuters/File
Polio vaccine drops are administered to a child in Peshawar. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The Sub-National Immunisation Days (SNIDs) campaign will kick off on Aug 2 during which more than 23.6 million children in 68 districts of all four provinces as well as Islamabad will be administered anti-polio drops.

Approximately, 179,000 frontline polio workers will go house to house, observing the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Covid-19, to ensure children’s protection from the crippling poliovirus.

“Pakistan has made significant progress over the past months and with the declining polio cases it is important to continue with full force. We need to ensure all eligible children are vaccinated during each campaign to build up their immunity. I urge all parents to welcome polio teams and accept polio drops,” said Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, while inaugurating the SNIDs campaign on Thursday at the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC).

Director General Health Dr Rana Safdar, National Coordinator for Polio Programme Dr Shahzad Baig and others were present on the occasion.

Official terms current gains against disease fragile that can easily be reversed

According to a statement, Dr Baig said that the current gains of the programme were fragile and can easily be reversed, especially during high transmission season when the virus becomes active.

“Immunisation is a right of every child, and it is the safest way to ensure good health of children. Parents and caregivers should play their role in ensuring vaccination during the campaign,” he said.

The declining trend of reported polio cases and negative environmental samples indicate a positive epidemiological outlook for polio eradication in Pakistan. As of July 29, there has only been one case of wild polio reported this year, compared with 66 at the same time last year. The number of positive environmental samples has decreased.

Toll-free Helpline 1166 and 24/7 WhatsApp Polio Helpline 0346-777-65-46 assist parents and caregivers by providing information about vaccines and campaign information.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2021

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