Afghanistan begins polio vaccination campaign in 23 provinces

Photo: Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan. File Photo

The polio vaccination campaign was kicked off in 23 provinces of the country in which at least 6.4 million children under five years old will be vaccinated against polio, Taliban authorities from the Ministry of Public Health said on Monday.

The three-day campaign begins at a time when two positive cases of polio were reported in Bati Kot district in Nangarhar in the east of Afghanistan.

This is the second round of the polio vaccination campaign in the country. The first round was conducted in January, covering over 5.5 million children.

One of the cases in Nangarhar is a four-year-old child who was infected with poliovirus.

According to the Ministry of Health, two polio patients were confirmed in 2022, four in 2021, and 56 in 2020.

As of March 2023, over 500,000 people were served in health facilities and hospitals supported by WHO in Afghanistan.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on March 22, 2023, polio continued to be an international concern and issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory.

Before traveling to any destination listed, the CDC has recommended that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of a polio vaccine.