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SMC polio vax drive: 46,000 kids targeted

“The polio vaccines will be administered during the house-to-house visits and at transit points too. The target is to vaccinate around 46000 children aged under five years in the SMC area.

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

A three-day pulse polio drive was rolled out across the Siliguri Municipal Corporatioin area today. The health department has set a target to vaccinate 46,000 children aged below five years of age in area under the sub-national intensified pulse polio immunization programme.

Health workers will visit houses in the municipality areas while administering the oral polio vaccine to children during the drive, it is learnt. “The polio vaccines will be administered during the house-to-house visits and at transit points too. The target is to vaccinate around 46000 children aged under five years in the SMC area.

However, there will be no camps or clinics for immunisation programmes amid the Covid-19 situation. Health workers will administer two drops of bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) to the children,” said Darjeeling District Magistrate S Ponnambalam.

According to officials, vaccine camps had been cancelled this year like last year to avoid gatherings amid the Covid-19 situation. “The camps draw a large number of children. The congregation of a large number of people can lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases and the health of the children cannot be comprised,” an official said According to Mr Ponnambalam, those involved in carrying out the door-to-door drive will have to strictly follow the Covid-19 protocol.

According to health department officials, the immunisation programme is held generally four times in a year–the National Immunisation Day is conducted twice a year, while additionally two more Sub National Immunisation Days are observed.

Children in India are administered two drops of oral polio vaccine six times at birth, at six weeks, at 10 weeks, at 14 weeks, while the booster dose is administered between 16 and 24 months and by the age of five years.