The Supplemental Immunisation Officer, World Health Organisation(WHO), Dr. Ana Elena Chevez, Wednesday said Sokoto state has the lowest routine immunisation coverage in Africa.
She also said at least 240,000 children would be immunised during the Injectable Polio Vaccination and Oral Polio Vaccination campaign scheduled to hold betweenMay 2 and 6 in Sokoto-north, Sokoto-south and Wamakko local government areas of the state.
Speaking at a roundtable meeting with members of the Journalists Against Polio(JAP) on Injectable Polio Vaccine held at the Specialist Hospital, Sokoto, Chevez noted that Sokoto was lagging behind in routine immunisation coverage with only two percent in the continent.
She maintained that the only way to accelerate eradication of polio was by administering the Injectable Polio Vaccine to the children at the same time to boost 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,”she said.
She explained that the three local government areas were classified as vulnerable to polio transmission because the virus had been isolated in the samples collected from sewage, thus children living in the councils required a higher level of protection.
According to her, the Injectable Polio Vaccine would be given to all children at 14 weeks of age as part of the routine immunisation to boost immunity against type one, two and three polio virus.
Chevez said the Injectable vaccines would be administered at 411 health camps to be located within the communities not more than half kilometre range from every settlement in the Councils. “The Injectable Polio Vaccine works in a way different from the oral polio vaccine.The Injectable vaccine strengthens a Child’s immunity through the blood while polio drops create immunity through a child’s intestines.
“In fact, both the injectable and oral vaccines will strengthen the health of a child and provide even better protection against polio,” she explained.