Uganda on Tuesday received 12.9 million polio vaccine doses from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) which will be used in the second round of the country’s house-to-house vaccination campaign slated for next month, the ministry of health said.
“Vaccines for children have been the most effective strategy to reduce child mortality. The second round of the polio vaccination campaign will fully protect children against polio,” said country representative in Uganda.
The first round of vaccination administered in January targeted over 8 million children below the age of five.
Last August, Uganda announced a polio outbreak in the country after samples of fecal matter collected in the capital Kampala tested positive. The ministry of health warned at the time that it was the rare wild polio virus type 2, whose vaccine was excluded from the country’s routine immunization programs in 2016.
The resurgence was attributed to the reduced routine immunization in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uganda was certified polio-free in October 2006 by the World Health Organization after having reported no indigenous polio cases for 10 years.
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that mainly affects children under five years old and is transmitted by the fecal-oral route and by aerosol droplets.