Bangladesh vaccinates 22 million children against polio

Bangladesh vaccinated an estimated 22 million children under the age of five during its 20th immunization drive against polio.

Sayed Abu Jafar Mohammad Musa, Bangladesh's director of primary health, said that the country was expecting 100 percent coverage of its target area in the second round. The children were vaccinated twice, one month apart, reports.

"Our field staff will make door-to-door visits in the next four days to feed the dropouts, if any," Musa said, according to "Our coverage was 100 percent in the first round (on January 7)."

The country's health ministry carried out the campaign due to the fact that India, its neighbor, is still struggling with polio. There were 18 cases of polio in Bangladesh in 2006 after a long polio-free period.

In addition to the polio vaccination, the field staff also administered tablets for de-worming to children between two and five years of age. Children between six and 11 months were given low-dosage vitamin A capsules and those between the ages of one and five years were given higher dose supplements to battle night-blindness. There were 140,000 permanent outposts and at least 20,000 mobile centers involved in the campaign, reports.

The polio vaccination schedule requires three doses to keep the contagious, crippling disease at bay.