Amid the Covid pandemic, Karnataka would give polio vaccine to over 64 lakh children across the state on Sunday, said Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Friday.
“In the polio vaccination drive on Sunday, 64,07,930 children in the 0-5 age group will be given the medicine through oral drops. All parents should immunize their children,” said Sudhakar in a statement here.
As the nationwide anti-Covid vaccination drive was launched on January 16, polio vaccination programme was postponed to January 31 from January 17 even in the southern state.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa will flag off the polio drive at his home-office in the city centre on Sunday.
“Even if children were vaccinated earlier, they have to be vaccinated again. There will not be any side-effect from it for the kids. The country has been polio-free with no case of the infection over the last 10-11 years,” said Sudhkar, a medical doctor by profession.
The state health department has over 85-lakh doses of polio vaccine and 1.1-lakh vaccinators.
“The health department has formed 6,645 supervisor teams, 904 mobile teams and set up 32,908 booths across the state to administer polio drops to kids,” said the minister.
Meanwhile, state Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar has urged the Centre to give anti-Covid vaccine to teachers in the next round of its drive, as they have been frontline workers in containing the pandemic through field work.
“As thousands of teachers played a key role in containing the virus spread, they should be given the vaccine on priority in recognition of their service over the last nine months,” Kumar said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
The teachers were deputed for door-to-door data collection, stressing on the importance of social distancing and assisting healthcare warriors for many allied activities across the state.
Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhushan Harichandan will launch the Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme in the state on Sunday at Raj Bhavan.
“Harichandan will be administering polio drops to children below the age of five years,” said an official.
Across the state, nearly 53 lakh children in the age group of 0 – 5 years will be targeted in the immunisation drive.
According to the Government of India (GoI), the last polio case from the southern state was reported from Samarlakota town in East Godavari district on July 16, 2008.
Nearly 1.5 lakh vaccinators will inoculate children at 37,493 booths in AP. Likewise, 74,987 house to house teams will be deployed, including 1,354 mobile teams for high risk areas.
The state currently has a stockpile of 66.95 lakh polio vaccine doses.