New polio vaccine to benefit over four million Pakistani children each year

New polio vaccine to benefit over four million Pakistani children each year. | Courtesy of
A new inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) will help another polio-endemic country step closer to a polio-free future, as it will benefit more than four million children in Pakistan each year.

This new vaccine is being implemented into Pakistan’s routine immunization program. This is part of the world’s biggest coordinated vaccine introduction ever.

“Introduction of IPV is a major landmark as it would strengthen our efforts to fight polio and eventually eradicate it from our country and the world," Saira Afzal Tarar, minister of state, Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination, said. "We are confident that this introduction will give a boost to routine immunization in the country.”  

Children will receive the IPV as well as similar vaccines as part of their routine vaccinations.

This is especially important as Pakistan is just one of the three remaining countries that qualify as polio-endemic. Nigeria has now reached one year without a new wild polio case, and it introduced the IPV earlier in 2015. Afghanistan is scheduled to start its own use of the IPV in the near future.

“The introduction of IPV is a vital step on the journey to securing a polio-free world for all future generations to come,” Aziz Memon, Rotary International, speaking on behalf of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, said. “Adding at least one dose of IPV to the routine immunization schedule is the best possible way to protect your children from life-long polio paralysis, while the disease is being eradicated from the remaining endemic hotspots.”

Gavi International is located at 600 Hart Road, Barrington, Ill.

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