LAHORE - The five-day polio immunisation drive is set to begin in Punjab from Monday, (Sept 21).

Punjab Polio programme incharge Ms Sundas Irshad said at a media briefing on Thursday. “Over 44,000 polio teams have been constituted to vaccinate more than 20 million children in the drive”, she said. 

The briefing was followed by polio campaign inauguration.  The ceremony was attended by MPA from PTI Ms Shawana Bashir, representatives of civil society and Pashtun communities. 

Speaking to media before the inauguration, the incharge Punjab Polio programme reaffirmed that: “The government will make sure that polio virus circulation is interrupted during current year.”  She cautioned that “polio cases and virus circulation in all major cities of Punjab indicated children are at risk from the crippling virus”.

Ms Sundas assured parents that polio vaccine was safe, efficacious, and approved by the government’s drug regulatory authorities.  She emphasised the need for all children to be immunised during every round of immunisation campaign days. 

Polio campaigns remained suspended in the province since March due to corona pandemic.

Over 30 million children missed the critical oral polio vaccine which is required to save children from disability. 

“Resumption of polio campaigns will play a major role in stopping transmission of the polio virus”, she said.  In 2020 Punjab has reported eight polio cases so far. 

While 70 children have already been affected with polio this year in Pakistan. 

Globally, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the two countries still having polio cases.