LAHORE  -  Giving thumbs down to the anti-vaccination propaganda, Lahorites unanimously opted to vaccinate their children in the recently concluded polio eradication drive, in a major boost to polio eradication efforts that could spell wonders in rest of the country.

The national immunisation drive in April was halted after attacks on polio workers which left at least five of them dead, leaving thousands of children unimmunized. In the wake of April NID fiasco, 11 more children have fallen prey to the crippling virus, including three from Lahore, all of them polio vaccine refusals, adding to the overall year’s tally of 17.

In addition to the emergence of polio cases post April NID, almost 50 per cent of the polio environmental samples taken from all over the country from various locations have tested positive confirming intense virus circulation seeking children having low immunity.

After confirmation of virus in environment and emergence of a new polio case, three successive campaigns are required to be held in areas having evidence of polio virus to break the circulation.

The case response held in Lahore from May 13 to 19 was being considered a challenge as it was the first campaign after the April NID when polio vaccinators faced insurmountable challenges.

However, the recently concluded polio campaign has put the polio eradication efforts back on track and been able restore trust of the communities who vaccinated their children in droves.

“Lahore is a metropolitan city where people from all walks of life, ethnicities and backgrounds live in. In this city polio teams have managed to vaccinate nearly 848,000 children in the campaign which has helped protect children from the crippling disease,” said in-charge of Punjab polio programme Salman Ghani while talking to a private news channel.

“There were some parents who were misguided by rumors but nearly all of them were convinced to vaccinate their children and now they have reposed full trust in vaccination,” added Salman boasting the success of polio teams in the campaign.

The polio eradication drive which was kicked off by the father of a polio-affected child who had refused polio vaccination for years which resulted in the permanent paralysis of one of his children.

“Ikramullah, father of a polio affected girl refused polio vaccination due to a misconception. But his misconceptions have been removed,” said Prime Minister’s Focal Person Babar Bin Ata while talking to the news channel. The PMFP said: “In recent years Ikramullah did not allow polio teams to administer polio drops to his daughters and that became the reason for polio cases in city.”

He further stressed that government will ensure 100 per cent coverage of children in upcoming campaigns with the involvement of parents.