SunstarTV Bureau: A three-day polio vaccination drive is going to launch from today.
Along with this Polio National Immunization Day will also be observed today, where drops will be administered to children of less than 5 years of age to keep the disease at bay.
On the eve of the programme, President Ram Nath Kovind had administered polio drops to children at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Saturday.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey were also present on the occasion.
The Union health ministry aims to administer polio drops to 17 core children in the targeted age group to maintain the polio-free status of the country. Healthcare workers will visit two core households to ensure that no child is left without the protection of the polio vaccine.
India achieved the status of a polio-free country a decade ago; the last case was detected in Howrah on January 13, 2011.
At one of the briefings about the start of a nationwide inoculation programme for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), health minister Harsh Vardhan had lauded India’s achievement but said there is a need to remain vigilant.
He had said that the poliovirus is still circulating in other parts of the world, including India’s neighbouring countries due to which the people of the country need to remain vigilant.
The health ministry said that pulse polio immunization will be taken up on January 31, February 1 and 2. The programme, earlier scheduled to start from January 16, was rescheduled due to Covid-19 vaccination drive.
The polio immunization drive will be held in accordance with Covid-19 protocols – the parents and healthcare staff will be wearing masks, physical distancing will be followed and hands properly sanitised.