New round of poliomyelitis immunization in Tajikistan


Children showing the finger marking

Almost 2.7 million children under 15 years of age will be vaccinated during the fifth round of poliomyelitis (polio) immunization in Tajikistan; during 4–8 October, children can be vaccinated free of charge in hospitals, local health centres, schools and other immunization points throughout the country. This is the latest a series of supplementary immunization activities, organized by the Ministry of Health with the support of WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other international partners, to stop a polio outbreak in the country.

The campaign has succeeded in limiting the number of polio cases in the country. The new round seeks to maximize children’s protection against the disease by boosting their immunity against all three types of poliovirus. The vaccine used in the four previous immunization rounds in 2010 was effective only against the type of the virus that caused the outbreak; that to be used during the fifth and sixth rounds will also protect children from other types of virus found in neighbouring countries, such as Afghanistan. With the support of partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, UNICEF has already delivered 3.5 million doses of the life-saving vaccine.