Government has extended the ongoing vaccination exercise against Measles-Rubella and Polio by one day across the country and two days in selected parts, citing increased demand and the high turn up of people seeking the vaccine.
The Ministry of Health announced this in a statement issued Sunday. It said however that the extension will be for two days particularly in the areas of Kampala Capital City Authority, Wakiso, Mukono and Karamoja.
This is because a number of schools in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono were not reached during the campaign and “this has prompted the Ministry of Health to extend the immunization campaign”
“This exercise will focus on; schools that missed out, schools which were on midterm holiday and those that were overwhelmed by the turn-up of children for immunization. In regards to Karamoja sub-region, heavy rains and floods disrupted the activity,” said the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng.
On Sunday, additional vaccines were airlifted from the National Medical Stores (NMS) in Kampala to ensure that districts which experienced stock outs are able to carry on with the immunization exercise during the extension period.
The Minister appealed to District Health Officers and central supervisors to intensify supportive supervision on use of vaccines, diluents and related supplies for proper accountability.
“Parents and guardians are encouraged to take all children below 15 years for immunization against Measles and Rubella. Children aged 0-8 months will only receive Oral Polio Vaccine. However, they will catch-up with their Measles-Rubella vaccines when they turn 9 months,” Minister Dr Aceng said.
She reiterated that the vaccines are safe, free and effective, contrary to some claims by sections of the public who were against the exercise.
Last week, the Health Minister warned that parents who will refuse to take their children for vaccination risk being arrested since the law stipulates that immunization is mandatory.