Polio immunization focused on regions with low coverage: ministry

Polio immunization focused on regions with low coverage: ministry

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Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Health Ministry is focusing routine polio immunization in regions that have become vulnerable to extraordinary events (KLB) due to relatively low vaccination coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Polio cases in the world have been eradicated. There have been many countries with no polio,” Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin noted in a statement issued on Monday.

“However, this year, polio emerged again in the United States, the UK, and Israel; so, Indonesia is not the only country where it appeared again due to vaccination declines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Indonesia announced a polio KLB after it detected one infection that numbed the patient’s nerves in Aceh.

On a separate occasion, acting director of immunization at the ministry, Prima Yosephine, said that Indonesia is at risk of polio based on the routine immunization achievement in the past three years.

Therefore, the ministry has expanded the focus of routine immunization strengthening to provinces outside of Aceh.

Related news: Minister targets Aceh to complete polio immunization in a month

Moreover, the ministry has strengthened tracing to ensure that all infants receive four doses of type 1 and 3 oral polio vaccines or bOPVs and one complete dose of IPV based on age.

Yet another effort has included immunizing children aged 12–59 months who have not completed immunization since immunity against type 2 polio can only be gained through vaccination, she informed.

Based on the routine immunization coverage report in 2020, Aceh and West Sumatra were high-risk provinces with less than 60 percent oral vaccination coverage.

There were 13 more high-risk provinces with immunization coverage of around 60 to 79 percent. Meanwhile, another 13 provinces were at medium risk with 80 to 94 percent coverage.

“There were only 6 provinces with good coverage for polio immunization of above 95 percent,” she informed.

Based on the number of districts or cities, 514 regions were at very high risk with below 60 percent coverage. Meanwhile, 132 districts or cities were at high risk with 60–79 percent coverage.

Then, there were 166 regions at medium risk and 154 regions at low risk. The only region with green status for IPV immunization was Yogyakarta in 2020, she noted.


Related news: Mothers should ensure children complete polio immunization: Minister

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