ISLAMABAD-Director of Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Punjab Dr Mukhtar Ahmed Thursday urged parents to get their children aged up to two years vaccinated against 12 deadly diseases and called upon society to shun propaganda of anti-polio vaccination to ensure safety of their children from being crippled by poliomyelitis.
Talking to PTV news channel, he said, “Our goal is to ensure that more children were protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, allowing them to live happier and healthier lives in future.”
“After birth, vaccination process for new born children is a safe and effective way to help them survive, thrive and reach their full potential in life,” he added.
“Newborn babies are already protected against several diseases, such as measles, mumps and rubella, because antibodies have passed to them from their mothers via the placenta, he said, adding, this is called passive immunity, but usually only lasts for a few weeks or months.”
“Vaccinations provide long-term immunity to numerous diseases, which is why they are so important for the baby’s health, his proper growth and development,” he added.
‘Kids’ immune systems were more vulnerable to illness and disease, and vaccination schedules were scientifically designed by top infectious disease experts and doctors with this in mind, he said.
“The goal is to protect kids from vaccine-preventable diseases as early and as safely as possible,” he added.
Replying a question, he also highlighting the importance of vaccine in polio eradication that due to several refusal cases were reported in different localities of far flung areas of KP, however, efforts were under way to convince the parents to administer anti-polio vaccine to their children.
“Polio cases are fewer than they have ever been in past but yet the virus has shown up in sewage samples in several major areas of country this year, he said, adding, indicating that some population pockets that have still missing out on the vaccine drives”.
“The Punjab has been free of polio cases for the last three years, but as long as polio exists anywhere, it is a threat to children everywhere”, he expressed concern.
“To end polio, we must reach every child in this challenging last mile of eradication, which is within our grasp. The government and health department are fully committed to winning this decisive round to ensure that our children will never again be afflicted by polio,” he mentioned.
He also hailed the leadership of all religious scholars, defence forces and security personnel for showing exemplary support to this national cause.
“Despite significant achievements of the programme, the cunning polio virus is still surviving and finds a way for its survival, therefore the special immunization campaign has been planned in all the core reservoirs to kill the wild polio virus forever,” he added.
“Parents are requested to avoid fake propaganda against polio vaccine and vaccinate their children to protect them from the polio virus,” he advised.