ISLAMABAD, 09 Mar 2022:  The first National Immunization Days (NIDs) campaign of 2022 successfully reached more than 43 million under-five children with lifesaving vaccines. Over 339,521 trained and dedicated polio workers were engaged in the vaccination drive to inoculate children at their doorstep.

Dr. Shahzad Baig, Coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre, Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI), expressed satisfaction over the successful conclusion of the immunization campaign. He congratulated Federal and Provincial government leadership, frontline workers, parents, and caregivers, for playing an instrumental role in vaccinating eligible children during the campaign.

“I extend my sincere thanks to the parents and provincial governments for successfully implementing the campaign. We have completed more than a year without any reported cases. However, the wild poliovirus is still active in certain part of the country, posing a threat to the already achieved gain, especially, unvaccinated children are at risk. We need to ensure all eligible children are vaccinated during each campaign to build their immunity against diseases,” Dr Baig said. “It is time to be more vigilant to reach the last mile - polio free Pakistan.” 

The nationwide campaign was inaugurated by Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, reaffirming the Government’s commitment to polio eradication. The campaign was launched in six districts of South Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 21 February and on 28 February in the remaining parts of the country.

The Sehat Tahhafuz Helpline 1166 and 24/7 Polio WhatsApp Helpline 0346-777-65-46 assisted parents and caregivers in reporting missed children. The repeated polio vaccination campaigns are imperative for building immunity among children and preventing possible death or lifelong paralysis from a vaccine-preventable disease.



Note for the Editor:

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five years. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease. Each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased. Repeated immuniations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free.

Pakistan is one of the two polio-endemic countries in the world along with its neighbour Afghanistan.

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