New rounds of polio immunisation start in Tajikistan
Two additional rounds for all children under 5 will maximise their protection against polio
DUSHANBE, 18 April 2011– About 1.1 children under the age of 5 will be vaccinated against polio during the new round of National Immunisation Days (NIDs) that start throughout Tajikistan today. This round will continue until 22 April and will be followed by another round of immunisation for the same age group on 23-27 May.
The major purpose of the two new rounds of polio immunisation is to maximise children’s protection against the disease and ensure that the transmission of the wild polio virus in Tajikistan has ended. The NIDs are organized by the Ministry of Health with the support of UNICEF and WHO following the outbreak of polio in Tajikistan last year. 458 laboratory confirmed polio cases were registered in Tajikistan in 2010.
“We are calling for the full support of all sectors of society to ensure that every child under five years of age receives the polio vaccine during this immunisation campaign,” – notes Dr Pavel Ursu, WHO Representative/Head of WHO Country office in the Republic of Tajikistan. “As children under 5 are still the group most at risk, it is essential to ensure that they are fully covered with additional polio vaccination.”
“I would like to call on all parents and caregivers in the country to make sure that their children are vaccinated against polio during the both rounds,” says Hongwei Gao, UNICEF Country Representative in Tajikistan. “Together we need to make sure that every child in the country irrespective of where they live receives the life-saving vaccine.”
During the two new rounds, every boy and girl, irrespective of their previous immunisation status, will receive two drops of the life-saving oral polio vaccine. The vaccine will boost their immunity against three types of the polio virus that exist in neighbouring countries, such as Afghanistan. The vaccine is safe and recommended by WHO. Some 2.5 million doses of the life-saving vaccine have been already delivered to Tajikistan by UNICEF with the support of partners from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
During the National Immunisation Days against polio on 18-22 April and 23-27 May, all children under 5 will be vaccinated free of charge at immunisation points located in hospitals, local health centres and other immunisation points throughout the country. Children living in remote and hard to reach areas will be immunised by mobile vaccinator teams. Similar polio immunisation campaigns will be carried out on the same days in all other Central Asian countries as well as in Azerbaijan and southern regions of the Russian Federation.
For more information, please contact:
UNICEF in Tajikistan:
Mr. Alexander Sodiqov, Communication Officer
Tel.: (+992) 918 31 00 57
World Health Organisation in Tajikistan:
Ms. Tahmina Alimamedova, Communication Assistant
Tel.: (+992) 907 78 01 19