Injectable polio vaccines introduced
With the continued fight against polio, federal health ministry has begun using injectable polio vaccines (IPV) in its routine immunization program across Pakistan.
This is part of a long-term strategy developed by Global Polio Eradication Initiative, to be used in the expanded program on immunization. The plan, Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018, outlines what is needed to free the world of polio by 2018.
According to the WHO, more than four million children in Pakistan will benefit from IPVs every year.
Last year in April, Pakistan had requested for financial support for the introduction of IPV from Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), according to Dr Rana Safdar, in-charge of the National Emergency Operation Cell for Polio. GAVI has provided packages which include vaccine, syringes and equipment and other essential items.
Saira Afzal Tarar, Ministor of State for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination said that the introduction of IPV is a major landmark in the fight against polio.
Although Pakistan still accounts for more than 80 percent of polio cases worldwide, the country has made significant progress. There is a 75 percent reduction in the number of cases reported during the first half of 2015 as compared to the same time period last year.
Dr. Seth Berkley, chief executive of GAVI, is confident in the positive direction the control of polio is headed.
News source: The Express Tribune