Pulse polio vaccination postponed indefinitely
In view of the upcoming large-scale Covid-19 vaccination drive, the central government has postponed the National Pulse Polio vaccination drive indefinitely.
The pulse polio vaccination drive covers all children under the age of five years. Every year, the pulse polio vaccination begins on January 17, however this year the first phase of Covid-19 vaccination will begin on January 16 and so the polio drive has been postponed.
Dr Bhagwan Pawar, district health officer for Pune district said, “We have got a letter that the pulse polio vaccination drive has been postponed indefinitely as no replacement date has been mentioned. The pulse polio vaccination was to start from January 17.”
Dr Archana Patil, director of health services, Maharashtra said, “We vaccinate close to two crore kids in the state alone every year in these five days from January 17 to January 22.”
Earlier, the PMC had stated that with two major vaccination drives beginning around the same time, the civic body would face a shortage of manpower as schools and colleges are shut.
The Covid-19 vaccination would go on for almost six months as close to 44 lakh people will be administered the dose twice. In order of priority, the health care workers, frontline workers, those with comorbidity and senior citizens will be given first preference.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had earlier planned the polio drive wherein about 3.08 lakh kids were to be vaccinated in these six days.
Despite no cases of wild polio reported since 2009, India has not yet been officially declared as polio-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO).