Over 45.8m children to be immunised in nationwide anti-polio drive

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ISLAMABAD: More than 45.8 million children under five years of age would be vaccinated during the second anti-polio campaign across the country starting from February 26.

Children would also be given vitamin A supplements to boost their immunity in the campaign which is kicking off from February 26 to March 3 in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and in 33 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from March 2 to March 6.

“Polio is a terrible disease that has no cure and can leave children paralyzed for life. Unfortunately, it continues to be a threat to our children as some people refuse to vaccinate children based on misconceptions and false information about the vaccine,” the Federal Secretary for Health, Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, said after administering polio drops to children.

Shallwani added that while the government remains strongly committed to ending polio in Pakistan and is making great progress, as decision-makers, parents and caregivers also have a huge responsibility to ensure their children well-being.

In a special message directed to parents and caregivers, the health secretary emphasized, “Polio vaccinators will be delivering this vital vaccine to your doorsteps next week. I implore you to recognize the threat posed by the poliovirus to your children and ensure that you open your doors to facilitate their vaccination.”

This is the second consecutive nationwide campaign of the year after poliovirus was detected in sewage samples from 19 districts in January and in 126 sewage samples in 2023.

The first campaign of 2024 was held from January 8 to January 14, during which over 43 million children were vaccinated.

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