Polio vaccine drive to start from Feb 28 in Sindh

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The Sindh Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), Sindh Government will conduct a polio vaccination campaign from 28 February to 6 March, as part of the National Immunization Days in Pakistan.

The seven-day campaign aims to administer oral polio drops to over 9.9 million children that includes all children under five years of age in the Sindh province, said statement issued here Saturday.

Suspension of polio vaccination campaigns nationwide for over four months in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to disruptions in routine immunization activities, had increased immunity gaps in children. The Sindh province responded with back-to-back monthly polio campaigns, between August 2020 and December 2021, engaging thousands of courageous polio workers and local community leaders, influenced persons and the media.

The Pakistan Pediatric Association, Pakistan Medical Islamic Medical Association, medical experts across the world, as well as prominent religious scholars and influential in Pakistan and across the region, endorsed and widely promoted the oral polio vaccine as the safest and most effective to protect the children of Pakistan against polio. Their continued leadership and unwavering support are invaluable in reaching every child in the province under five years of age, it added.

Thanks to these efforts, not a single child in Sindh has been paralyzed by polio since July 2020. In addition, lab results of environment samples from the province in the last five months have been found to be negative of the polio virus.

However, our fight against polio is not over as the virus continues to circulate in the environment in certain parts of Pakistan. We cannot afford to be complacent. As along as polio exists in any part of the country, every child in Pakistan is at risk, it said while quoting an official from EOC.

We must continue striving together during this current and all upcoming campaigns, to reach and vaccinate every child under five, till we end polio from Pakistan.