Polio vaccination in Tajikistan to cover schoolchildren




May 28, 2010 - Mavjuda Hasanova



Yesterday Tajikistan received 6 mln 350 doses of monovalent polio vaccine for children and teens under 16 years of age delivered from France.


According to Deputy Health Minister of Tajikistan, chief sanitary doctor of the country Azam Mirzoev, the first phase of vaccination, which will cover 1st – 8th grade pupils from secondary schools of Dushanbe and seven regions of the country, will be launched today, May 28.


The two-phased vaccination will cover a total of 3mln children and teens under 16 year of age, he said. “Immunization of children and teens in other regions of the republic is scheduled for June 1 this year, which will be conducted simultaneously with the third phase of immunization of children under 6 years of age,” Mirzoev stressed.


Children and teens will be vaccinated in two phases. The second round of immunization will be carried out 14 days after the first phase, Tajik Health Ministry reported.


This shipment of vaccines was purchased with support of UNICEF, PR Officer of UNICEF Office in Tajikistan Alexandr Sadykov told the AP. “Together with transportation vaccine costs $1.1mln. This is the same type of monovalent vaccine purchased from the leading French company and which was delivered to Tajikistan one month ago on April 27,” he stressed.


Meanwhile, Tajik Health Ministry says polio outbreak is being decreased. The total number of patients infected with poliomyelitis makes 139 and another 470 still have typical polio symptoms. These are mainly children under 6 years of age. However, a series of teens and even one 40-year-old citizen of the country reportedly have polio symptoms.




Editor aside: Due to a decrease in sanitation and access to clean water in the southwestern regions with heavy continued flooding, environmental exposure to vectors of polio may have increased the incidence of Poliomyelitis beyond the expected levels.  This is one explanation as to why herd immunity was not achieved in this region despite recorded vaccination levels above the needed amount by the Health Ministry.