Now that Iraq has added the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) to its national immunization program, children throughout the nation will receive vaccinations against six significant childhood diseases.
The new vaccine will be administered to children who are 2 months, 3 months and 4 months old. It is a combination vaccine that includes diphtheria, polio, whooping cough, tetanus, Haemophilus influenza type B (which causes pneumonia, meningitis, and otitis), and hepatitis B.
“Polio eradication activities have pioneered multiple innovations and demonstrated that health service can -- and must -- reach every child,” Peter Hawkins, UNICEF's country representative in Iraq, said. “The introduction of IPV into the Iraq public health structure is one step forward to ensure that Iraqi children are protected from polio, and also that they have equitable access to all health services.”
Introducing the vaccine is part of the effort to eliminate polio from the world health scene. As of today, the only nations that still have polio are Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"[The World Health Organization] WHO acknowledges the government of Iraq's commitment to childhood vaccination and supports the introduction of IPV-containing vaccine as part of the Endgame Strategic Plan for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative," acting WHO Representative Altaf Musani said.