Polio: 240,000 Children To Receive Injectable Vaccine, Says WHO

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The World Health Organization(WHO) has said that at least, 240,000 children would be immunized during the Injectable and Oral Polio Vaccination campaign scheduled to hold between 2nd and 6th May in Sokoto North, Sokoto South and Wamakko local government areas (LGAs) of the state.

The Supplemental Immunization Officer of WHO, Dr. Ana Elena Chevez disclosed this on Wednesday at a roundtable meeting with members of Journalists Against Polio (JAP) on Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV).

She explained that children living in the three local government areas required higher level of protection because the areas were classified as vulnerable to polio transmission following results from the isolation of the virus in the samples collected from sewages there.

Chevez added that the IPV, to be administered at 411 health camps located not more than half kilometre range from every settlement in the LGAs, would be given to all children at 14 weeks of age as part of the routine immunization in order to boost their immunity against type one, two and three polio virus.

“The Injectable Polio Vaccine works in a way different from the oral polio vaccine. It strengthens a child’s immunity through the blood while polio drops create immunity through a child’s intestines,” she said adding, “In fact, both the injectable and oral vaccines will strengthen the health of a child and provide even better protection against polio.”

Chevez stressed that unlike the oral vaccines, skilled healthcare workers were required to administer the injectable vaccines.

Describing the IPV as very safe and with no complex reactions to the ones administered to children, she also maintained that administering the IPV to the children was the only way to accelerate polio eradication as well as boost their immunity.

“We decided to introduce Injectable Polio Vaccine in high-risk areas due to the fact that a single dose increases bloodstream immunity against polio in children,” Chevez said.

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