ISLAMABAD - Acting Ambassador of Saudi Arabia on Friday handed over more than 10 million doses of Oral Polio Vaccine to the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation. This vaccine will be utilized to vaccinate international travelers in the light of international travel regulations regarding polio endemic countries.
The Saudi government pledged to donate vaccine to Pakistan during the World Health Assembly meeting held in May last. The doses will be administered to every Pakistani intending to travel abroad in line with the World Health Organization's travel restrictions on Pakistan.
The vaccine will fulfill the vaccination requirement of Pakistani travelers for almost a year. According to officials, the country needs around 12 million doses annually to vaccinate the travellers and the donated vaccine would be a great help to meet the demand, as 70 per cent travellers are frequent travellers who don't need to be vaccinated every time they travel while only 30 per cent travellers are one-time travellers.
National EPI Manager Ejaz Khan on behalf of the Ministry of National Health Services and Government of Pakistan thanked Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the support in most needed times when Pakistan is striving hard to eradicate polio from the country and save the lives of its children. Jassim Mohammad Al-Khaldi, Acting Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, reiterated his commitment to support for Pakistan and prayed for the country to be free of polio at the earliest.
The ceremony closed with signing of the document and physically handing and taking over of the vaccine along with media briefing.