Five-day national polio immunization drive to start from today

ISLAMABAD: A five-day national immunization drive will commence from today to vaccinate over 39 million children under the age of five across Pakistan.

According to an official of Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI), around 285,000 polio frontline workers will visit house-to-house, observing strict SOPs for COVID-19, to ensure protection of Pakistani children from the crippling polio virus.

Inaugurating the nationwide drive, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Dr Faisal Sultan said, “The government is committed to make Pakistan Polio-free. We are determined to close the immunity gap in children which had unfortunately widened because of disruption of essential services due to COVID-19 pandemic.”

He said, “Ensuring timely and repeated vaccination of children is critical for us to reduce the immunity gap and protect them against polio. I therefore, urge all parents and care givers to ensure polio vaccination to their children during the campaign as well as in routine.”

Dr Faisal said, “I am confident, together we will achieve our target of making a safer, healthier and polio-free Pakistan for our children.”

During the campaign, trained polio frontline workers will reach every child with essential polio vaccine while adhering to strict COVID-19 standard operating procedures such as wearing mask, using hand sanitizer, and maintaining at least minimum distance during vaccination. The campaign has been planned in synchronization with Afghanistan. - APP fQJ8rtUMNqA4GM=