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New round of polio immunisation campaign starts to maximise children’s protection against polio in Tajikistan

© UNICEF Tajikistan / Sodiqov / 2010
Tajik mothers and their children waiting for the next round of vaccinations.

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan / October 4, 2010 - Almost 2.7 million children under 15 years of age will be vaccinated during the new round of polio immunisation that is starting today in Tajikistan. This round on 4-8 October is the fifth in a series of supplementary immunisation days organised by the Ministry of Health with the support of UNICEF, WHO and other international partners to stop a polio outbreak in the country.

Previous rounds of the campaign have been successful in bringing down the number of polio cases in the country. The new round will aim at maximising children’s protection against the disease by boosting their immunity against all three types of polio virus. The vaccine used in four previous immunisation rounds this year was only effective against the type of the virus that caused the outbreak in Tajikistan. The vaccine that will be used during the fifth and sixth rounds will also protect children from other types of the virus that exist in neighbouring countries, such as Afghanistan. With support of partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), 3.5 million doses of the life-saving vaccine have been already delivered by UNICEF.

“I would like to call on all parents and caregivers in the country to vaccinate their children against polio during this fifth round,” 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.”

“Each dose of vaccine counts and it will strengthen children’s immunity against polio and effectively protect children’s health against the disease, in particular against all three types of polio virus”, notes Dr Pavel Ursu, WHO Representative/Head of WHO Country office in the Republic of Tajikistan. Immunization is the only protection against polio and ensuring that all children under 15 years are vaccinated during fifth and sixth rounds is essential to protect the immunity and stop the transmission of the virus.

During the National Immunisation Days 4-8 October, children under 15 can be vaccinated free of charge at immunisation points located in the hospitals, local health centres and schools and other immunisation points throughout the country.

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



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