LAHORE           -         Another child fell victim to crippling virus in Punjab, third polio case this year.

The 34 months old child has taken more than seven doses of oral polio vaccine, putting question mark on utility of vaccination campaigns as kids are getting paralyzed despite taking multiple doses.

“The lab has notified a new polio case in Jampur tehsil, Rajanpur”, spokesman of the provincial polio programme confirmed on Friday.

The child affected with polio virus is 34 months old and his left upper limb and both lower limbs have been affected”, said the spokesman and added that the status of the number of SIA and routine doses was being investigated. However, it was learnt that the child had received more than seven doses in Supplementary immunisation Activity (SIA) and one routine immunisation dose by recall.

With the new case, number of polio virus cases in Punjab has reached three this year and 55 all over the country.

Outbreak of COVID19 has posed serious challenges to polio eradication. Polio campaigns remain suspended since March leaving a large chunk of children unimmunised and vulnerable.

In March, April and June nearly 30 million children in Punjab missed vaccination due to COVID. Due to intensive transmission of Type2 and WPV1 virus more children are at heightened risk of catching the virus

Since January 2019 till date, Punjab province has 20 reported Type2 and WPV1 cases. However, sustained presence of wild polio virus in Lahore, Rawalpindi, DG Khan and Multan districts, a huge transit and mobile population, has kept Punjab at risk with polio virus spread.

Also continuous circulation of poliovirus has been reported in some of the districts of central Pakistan epidemiological block, which also includes four districts of South Punjab including RY Khan, DG Khan, Rajanpur and Multan.

“To interrupt continuous polio transmission and save more children from disabilities, the Punjab polio programme plans to resume polio eradication campaign from July”, said the Punjab polio programme incharge Ms. Sundas Irshad. She emphasized the need for all children to be immunized during every round of immunization campaign days. “Polio vaccine is one of the best available in the world, which has saved millions of lives and people from disability.

The transmission of polio virus is high across Pakistan and many children have become paralyzed during last few months.

Many of the vaccine preventable diseases are coming back due to falling essential immunisation as a result of COVID 19 pandemic.

Hence it is essential to carry out vaccination campaigns. Stay safe, get your children vaccinated with the two drops of polio vaccination even during COVID-19, she stated.