Pakistani official calls for mandatory polio vaccines

Pakistani Sen. Ayesha Raza Farooq, the prime minister’s focal person on polio, recently said there must be mandatory vaccinations to fully eliminate poliovirus.

Farooq, media members and civil society activists recently spent time in Karachi, where the senator launched her draft for a Mandatory Immunization Bill.

“Strengthening routine immunization is the solution for polio eradication in the country,” Farooq said. “Making immunization a compulsory practice across the country will help in improving the current state of affairs and to sustain the dream of polio-free Pakistan.”

Farooq said current routine immunization and polio eradication plans need another boost. As of today, just 29 percent of the children in Sindh and 16 percent of Balochistani children who are fully vaccinated.

“We can protect these children through strengthening compulsory immunization to eradicate poliovirus," Farooq said. "Iit is our collective responsibility." 

Statistics show that one out of 10 children dies before turning 5 because of polio.

“Deaths of children should not be seen as mere statistics and numbers, these are our future generation and we owe to give them a healthy life,” Farooq said.

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