-Over 900,000 children to be vaccinated, receive birth certificate

Over 900,000 children between the ages of zero to 59 months within the territorial confines of Liberia are expected to be vaccinated with the Novel Polio 2 Vaccine.

The Novel Polio Vaccine which started on March 26 is expected to end on March 29 which is the first phase of the vaccination exercise.

Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health and Montserrado County Health Team including national and international partners over the weekend officially launched the Novel Polio vaccine (nOPV2) held at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship International on 9th Street, Sinkor.

Speaking at the official launch of the Novel Polio Vaccine, Liberia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Willimena Jallah said that 972,870 children in Liberia ranging from ages zero to 59 months are poised to receive the Novel Polio Vaccine 2, including birth certificates.

According to Minister Jallah, the Novel Polio Vaccine will save lives, prevent disabilities and prevent children from dying.

She called on Liberians to stay vigilant and keep out vaccination risk to avert any reassertion of Novel Polio Virus and continue to address and fight all of the treats that affect the children.

Minister Jallah indicated that the Ministry added the issuance of birth registration to the polio vaccination exercise because it is important that all children across Liberia have a birth certificate so that they do not get old before obtaining same.

The Minister of Health noted that it is important that in time to come, schools will only admit school-going children with birth certificate and a vaccination card, adding that as such, GoL is ensuring that almost 1 million children are registered to be vaccinated and certificated.

She called on parents to make sure that their child or children take the vaccine, stressing that the vaccination is a door-to-door campaign.

“You as a parent can observe when the vaccine is been given to your child or children. The health workers will only administer the vaccine and take the child information so that when they return for the second dose of the vaccine the child birth certificate will be given, this is important for us to know that,” Dr. Jallah said.

She emphasized that there will be no vaccination going on at night, saying, “so don’t let no one knock at your door at night and tell you they are from the Ministry of Health and wants to give you vaccine which is not true.”

Also speaking, the EPI Manager at the Ministry of Health said there have been global issues to ensure Novel Polio Virus is completely eradicated from the face of the earth, adding that 99% progress has been made, but noted that there are still challenges to be surmounted.

According to him, after the African Continent got certificated on August 24, 2020, they began to see cases of circulating vaccine and polio viruses within the Continent but said, unfortunately for Liberia, the first two cases were recorded since August 24, 2020.

UNICEF Representative, Laila Gad in a special remark during the launch said it is a plus for Liberia to once again turn adversity to opportunity.

Madam Gad indicated that Liberia has been affected by polio virus over the past period but has been able to rise above challenges.

She said that the vaccination campaign is in full partnership with the World Eradication Initiative which has made a good strive in the process.

Madam Gad congratulated the Ministry of Health for continuing the polio vaccine campaign in Liberia including the birth registration exercise which she emphasized is very important.

Meanwhile, Peter Clement, World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative said it is a very special moment in Liberia when they have to start the immunization exercise for the children.

He said the vaccination exercise calls for everyone including government, partners and parents to participate, emphasizing that the vaccine is free and is more preventive.

He congratulated the government of Liberia for successfully launching of the polio vaccine.

The launching ceremony was attended by UNFPA, USAID, IRC, Concern World Wide, Rotary Club and Liberia Crusader for Peace (LCP) including children ranging from 3-5 years.

Leila B. Gbati Writes

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