The polio vaccination campaigns have been resumed in Afghanistan and Pakistan months after coronavirus left 50 million in total children without their polio vaccine.
According to details, the polio immunization campaigns were restated in three provinces of Afghanistan in July. From August, a second campaign covering almost half of the country will begin.
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the polio vaccination campaigns were started at the end of July, covering about 780,000 Pakistani children. The vaccination program will resume from August in Pakistan.
Jean Gough, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia said,
“These life-saving vaccinations are critical if children are to avoid yet another health emergency. As the world has come to see only too well, viruses know no borders and no child is safe from polio until every child is safe.”
Polio is a highly-infectious, crippling, and sometimes fatal disease. Its cure can be only found in its vaccine.
In March 2020, the polio campaigns in both the countries were put on hold to avoid the risk of coronavirus.
The application of new vaccination guidelines and the use of protective equipment by frontline health workers will help ensure that vaccination campaigns resume safely.
Jean Gough said,
“Although we have experienced new challenges and a setback in the fight against polio because of COVID-19, the eradication of this contagious disease will get back on track and is firmly within our reach.”
He concluded by saying,
“Together with the respective Governments and other partners including the WHO, Rotary, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and with the dedicated work by frontline health workers, we are committed to reaching every child.”