Uganda to conduct concurrent vaccination for polio, COVID-19

Arriving passengers at Entebbe Airport to isolate at home
The Minister for Health, Dr Ruth Aceng

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Ministry of Health will embark on a three-day vaccination campaign against polio among children aged five years and below, starting Thursday 13, January 2022.

This campaign that targets 8.7 million children aims to also reach children that have missed routine immunization.

By the end of August 2021, the Ministry of Health said that up to two million children had missed polio vaccination, something that is partly attributed to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng told journalists on Wednesday 12th that the new exercise will be conducted door-to-door, and that it will be carried out concurrently with ongoing COVID-19 vaccinations.

Lamwo health workers abandon gov’t facilities for humanitarian jobs
A child receives an oral Polio vaccine

She was clarifying earlier claims that ongoing COVID-19 vaccination at selected facilities across the country will be halted, to pave way for a polio drive.

The launch of the immunization campaign that will take place at Wakiso Health Center IV on Thursday 13th builds up on vaccination activities that took place late last year when the country had just detected poliovirus in two samples picked from Bugolobi and Lubigi sewerage sites in Kampala.

Read Also: Yellow fever vaccine added on routine immunization in Uganda

Dr Alfred Driwale, the Programme Manager of the Uganda Expanded Programme on Immunisation-UNEPI told this publication that the number of un-immunized children has been piling over the years.

He says one of the reasons for this is accessibility for, especially hard to reach areas. By moving door-to-door, he says health workers will be able to spot those that can’t make it to health facilities.