Second round of polio vaccination takes off on October 8 across Ghana

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The Ministry of Health is set to begin the second round of the oral polio vaccination from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 October 2020 across the country.

In the Western Region, a total of 442,932 infants in the 14 districts of the region are expected to be immunized.

Mr Kofi Asemanyi-Mensah, the Deputy Western Regional Public Health Director, who made this known during a press briefing in Takoradi, appealed to parents to patronize the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) exercise in the second round as they did in the first round.

He explained that the dosage given in round two is an additional dose and stressed that every child under five years should receive it even if they had already been immunized.

Mr Asemanyi-Mensah indicated that repeated doses of the polio vaccine was safe and provided additional protection for children.

He said children from six months to five years would receive vitamin A supplement during the second round, adding that, Vitamin A makes children strong and healthy.

Mr Asemanyi-Mensah urged parents to continue with the routine immunization of their children after the campaign if they had not completed them.

The Deputy Regional Public Health Director called on parents to allow their children to receive the vaccine and shun the notion that the vaccine was contaminated and dangerous to children’s health.

He stressed that the vaccines had passed through rigorous processes and approved by the Food and Drugs Authority.

Mr Asemanyi-Mensah said Ghana recorded three events of non-wild poliovirus outbreak in July and August last year.

He explained that nine out of the 16 regions have so far recorded 30 cases, hence the need for the supplementary immunization campaign (mOPV2) to vaccinate children against the poliovirus and to contain the spread of the virus to other parts of the country.

The Deputy Director said the polio vaccination was to raise the population’s immunity against poliovirus and break the transmission of non-wild poliovirus, strengthen surveillance on polio disease and prevent further polio outbreak.

Mr Asemanyi-Mensah said the oral PolioVaccine(OPV) was extremely safe and effective at protecting children against lifelong polio paralysis.

He, therefore, advised parents that children under 15 years who may develop sudden paralysis (weakness of the limbs) should report to the nearest health centre within 24 hours.

Mr Asemanyi-Mensah said the immunization volunteers would visit homes, churches, mosques, and markets to administer the vaccine in line with the COVID-19 safety protocols, noting that volunteers were equipped with the appropriate tools.

Source: GNA