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New Anti-polio Vaccine Launched in Djibouti

The Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI Alliance) over the weekend officially launched in Djibouti the new anti-polio vaccine, Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), which replaces Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV).

If a child is not fully immunized, is likely to die of six killer diseases.

Organized in collaboration with Djibouti’s Health Ministry, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the launch of the new vaccine was in line with the broader vaccination program in Djibouti.

"This vaccine will be administered to children aged below one year and it will greatly reduce the risks of having child contract polio... It is therefore important that each child gets vaccinated," Djibouti’s Health Minister Kassim Issack Osman said.

Children getting polio immunization vaccines.

He said the IPV vaccine will not only protect children against Type Three polio, but also against the other two strains of the disease.

According to the Global Initiative for Eradication of Polio, the oral polio vaccine will be progressively withdrawn and doses of IPV will be increased to guarantee the total elimination of the disease.

Official statistics show that the last case of polio in the country was reported in 2002.
Polio is an acute and sometimes devastating disease that causes inflammation of the central nervous system. The disease can cause paralysis or even death.

By Robert Muriisa.

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