ISLAMABAD: First polio immunization campaign in the country during COVID-19 pandemic has achieved desired results as 94 percent of the targeted children were administered polio drops during the drive.
According to officials involved in the anti-polio drive, the campaign remained suspended in the country for four months.
“In the first phase, the vaccination campaign was carried out in Karachi, Faisalabad, Attock, South Waziristan, and Quetta areas of the country,” they said adding that special training was given to polio workers to avoid contracting COVID-19 during the campaign and maintaining social distancing.
The campaign came to an end in a peaceful manner without witnessing any violent incident as law enforcement authorities provided adequate security to the volunteers during the immunization process.
We are preparing large scale polio immunization campaigns during the months of August and September while national-level campaigns will also be launched during the months of October, November, and December, they said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the government of Pakistan resumed polio vaccination activities on July 20 with a campaign in selected districts after a four-month suspension of all vaccination activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Districts included in the first round are Faisalabad, Attock, South Waziristan, and parts of Karachi and Quetta with a target to vaccinate almost 800,000 children under the age of five.
The Pakistan Polio Eradication programme had suspended all Polio related activities in the last week of March, except surveillance. In the meanwhile, all programme strengths and capacities were redirected to support the ongoing COVID surveillance and response efforts at different levels.