FILE: Minister of Health Hala Zayed
CAIRO, March 4 (MENA) - Health Minister Hala el Said said that 16.5 million children were vaccinated for free in the national polio vaccination campaign that started on February 24 and lasted for four days.
Spokesman for the Health Ministry Khaled Megahed said in statements on Monday that Egyptian and foreign children were vaccinated in the campaign from the age of one day to five years old.
The biggest number of children were vaccinated in North Sinai governorate while the least number was recorded in New Valley governorate, he said.
Many countries have succeeded in eradicating the disease by vaccinating children under five years old. Egypt joined the list in 2006 with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF declaring that it was polio-free after the last case was discovered in 2004. This was due to the extensive vaccination coverage in all the governorates of Egypt through seven doses within the schedule of routine immunizations and the additional doses through periodic national campaigns.
In 2018, Egypt entered the final phase of eradicating the disease completely and to ensure that there are no new cases due to any viruses coming from abroad. The global strategy in polio eradication recommends introducing an additional dose via injection to the dose of oral vaccination in the fourth month, the remaining six doses to remain oral.