Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed announced, on Wednesday, that just over 15.884 million children have been vaccinated against polio in the second phase of the campaign to eradicate the disease.
This included a total of 17,844 non-Egyptian children residing in the country. The coverage rate of vaccination reached 96% within three days of the campaign’s launch, with vaccination offered free of charge.
The campaign, targeting 16.7 million children, was launched from 28-31 March for children between the age of one day to five years.
Zayed added that children in the target age group were vaccinated with two consecutive doses of the monovalent vaccination through the implementation of two campaigns.
The vaccination campaign aimed to raise herd immunity against polio, as a pre-emptive step as there have been outbreaks of the disease in a number of neighbouring countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
According to a Ministry of Health and Population statement, the governorates with the highest number of participants in the campaign were Cairo, Giza, Sharqeya, Beheira, Qaliubiya, and Daqahleya. These governorates saw coverage rates exceeding 100% of those targeted in these governorates.
Vaccination took place through fixed teams at more than 5,400 health offices, units and medical centres, in addition to mobile teams in major squares, as well as train and metro stations. They were also located next to mosques, churches, clubs, markets, bus and car stops, from 8am to 5pm.
Zayed confirmed that Egypt has succeeded in obtaining 38.2 million doses of the monovalent SABIN vaccine against polio, despite the current challenges that some countries are facing in obtaining this type of vaccination.
The last recorded case of poliomyelitis in Egypt was in 2004, according to Alaa Eid, Head of the Preventive Medicine Sector. He added that the ministry is conducting annual vaccination campaigns to ensure raising the immunity of children.