Polio vaccination to continue on transit sites on Eid

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In the wake of a recent polio case in Pakistan, the Punjab Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has decided to continue vaccination of children at all transit sites of Punjab during the Eid Holidays.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by the Punjab Emergency Operations Coordinator Ms Syedah Ramallah Ali on Friday.

The meeting was attended by polio eradication partners.

“The decision was taken to ensure that virus does not return to the province or find its way through Punjab to other provinces”, said Ms Ramallah Ali, the Punjab EOC coordinator.

“Transit polio teams have been directed to ensure that no child travels without two drops of oral polio vaccine”, Ms Ramallah added.

The Punjab Emergency Operations Centre anticipates mass movement to and from the affected high-risk districts of the country during Eid.

The moving population run the risk of carrying the virus with them and infect Un-vaccinated and immuno-compromised children.

The occasion of Eid also serves as an opportunity to vaccinate maximum number of children crossing through the sites. Vaccination will continue at the 23 transit sites set up in 10 districts of Punjab.

The sites play a key role in vaccination of children till five years of age and mitigating the risk of virus transmission to the province.

Out of the 23 permanent sites, 15 have been established at inter-provincial boundaries with KP, Sindh and Baluchistan, six at international airports and two at railway stations.

The districts where permanent transit sites have been set up include Attock, Mianwali, Bhakkar, DG Khan, Rajanpur, RY Khan, Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore and Sialkot.

By April 2022, over 750,000 children have been vaccinated at these transit sites.

In addition, the EOC occasionally deploys polio teams at temporary transit sites like shrines where pilgrims pay homage to the saints in large numbers.

Over 86,000 children have been vaccinated at these shrines by the transit polio teams during major religious gatherings this year.