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Evaluation of Immunization Services for Children of Migrant Workers Along Thailand–Myanmar Border: Compliance with Global Vaccine Action Plan (2011–2020) | Vaccines.

[Open Access] [Received: 7 January 2020 / Accepted: 2 February 2020 / Published: 5 February 2020]


Immunization is a core component of the human right to health. However, accessibility to the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) might be difficult among migrant children. This study aims to assess the vaccination coverage of migrant children under a mobile immunization program, initiated by the Thai government in 2014. A cross-sectional, mixed-methods study was conducted in five districts along the Thailand–Myanmar border during July–December 2018. The immunization history during their first year of life was obtained. Focus group discussions were conducted among stakeholders to explore their satisfaction toward the immunization service. Mothers/guardians of 1707 migrant children participated in the survey, with a 71% response rate. The vaccination coverage increased during 2014–2017. The highest vaccination coverage was observed for Bacillus CalmetteGuérin vaccine, with 83.2% coverage in 2017. The vaccination coverage of three doses of diphtheriatetanuspertussis vaccine and Hepatitis B vaccine and oral polio vaccine increased from 34.8% in 2014 to 56.3% in 2017. For measles-containing vaccine, the vaccination coverage increased from 32.4% in 2014 to 54.6% in 2017. Overall, all stakeholders were satisfied with the immunization service. Increased workload and communication barriers were the main factors that influenced the satisfaction toward the immunization program.

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Needle-Free Delivery Increased Polio Vaccination Coverage By 20% | Precision Vaccineations.

Pharmajet needle free injection system delivers medications and vaccines intradermally by means of a narrow high-velocity fluid jet.

February 9, 2020 – A Colorado-based technology company announced the survey results from the first large-scale vaccination campaign using its needle-free technology.

This innovative technology was found to display significantly faster preparation and administration time compared to traditional needle and syringe methods, ease-of-use, and the virtual elimination of vaccine wastage.

This survey’s data on the acceptability of the PharmaJet Tropis Needle-free Injection System appears to be very positive.

The paper, entitled Needle-free injectors for mass administration of fractional dose inactivated poliovirus vaccine (fIPV) in Karachi, Pakistan: A survey of caregiver and vaccinator acceptability, was published in Vaccine on January 23, 2020.

Of those with prior needle and syringe experience, both vaccinators (97.6%) and caregivers (99.6%) expressed a strong preference for the Tropis system, citing ease and speed of use, appearance, and children’s response to the vaccination.

Among caregivers, 94.7 percent said they would be more likely to bring their child for vaccination in a future campaign that used jet injectors.

Importantly, mean vaccine coverage among towns administering the fIPV was 98.7 percent which was an increase of 18.4 percent over the preceding campaign.

Intradermal (ID) administration of the fIPV has been established as providing a superior immune response.

This polio vaccination campaign was sponsored by the World Health Organization as part of its polio eradication efforts.

“The polio eradication campaign in Pakistan further validates the PharmaJet Tropis product functionality, and the company’s operational readiness to support future campaigns,” said Ron Lowy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PharmaJet Inc., in a related press release. 

“We are particularly pleased with the close to 20% increase in coverage which is critical for the eventual goal of eradication of polio.”

“The Needle-free Injection System is intended to deliver various medications and vaccines intradermally by means of a narrow, high-velocity fluid jet, which penetrates the skin and delivers the medicine or vaccine into the dermis,’ says the company website.

Additionally, ‘the system may also be used by patients authorized by their physicians to self-inject, or have other individuals administer injections of prescribed medication.’

The PharmaJet Stratis® Needle-Free Injector has U.S. FDA 510(k) marketing clearance, CE Mark and WHO PQS certification to deliver medications and vaccines intramuscularly or subcutaneously. In August 2014, the PharmaJet Stratis Needle-Free Injector was approved for the delivery of an influenza vaccine to deliver needle-free flu shots.

Vaccine Delivery news published by Precision Vaccinations.

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Pakistan: More polio cases | Editorial | Pakistan Observer.

[February 10, 2020]

Crippling polio virus appears to be getting out of control. Despite the commitment shown by the government to curb the crippling virus, there is no letup in their cases as more cases are rapidly emerging in different parts of the country.

As many as four new cases of polio have been reported from Sindh and Khyber- Pakhtun¬khwa, taking the tally already to 12 in the first two months of current year. This increase in polio cases is very disturbing and alarming. Just a couple of years back, the country appeared to be at the brink of eradication of polio as twelve cases were reported in the 2018 and only eight in 2017.

However, it needs to be examined as to what went wrong that the cases mounted to 144 last year and the surge continues during the current year as well. The propaganda campaign last year against polio vaccine in Peshawar indeed took its toll as thousands of parents refused administration of vaccine not only in the KP but also in other areas of the country. Attacks on polio workers are another problem faced by the authorities. Since it is the matter of life and future of our young souls, all the stakeholders including political parties and religious leaders should sit together and try to address the loopholes in the existing anti-polio strategy. There should be no politics on this sensitive issue. We rather will ask the government to form a special Joint Committee of Parliament on Polio to formulate a way forward that ensures hundred per cent coverage as well as proper security for the polio workers. A massive awareness campaign through print and electronic media should be launched to let people know what polio is and what its consequences are. People should be made aware of the importance of polio vaccine. They should particularly be convinced that vaccine is very effective and is absolutely not harmful in any way but important to save their children from lifetime disability.

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Pakistan: Polio spreading | Editorial | Pakistan Today.

[9th February 2020]

  • Cases in 2020 already equal to those in 2018

The number of polio cases this year reached 12 on Saturday, which is equal to the number for the whole of 2017, which was the last year when progress was shown in the national effort to eliminate this dreaded disease. Ever since the PTI took over in 2019, things have got out of hand, and Pakistan has only fallen back in the struggle to eliminate the disease. There were 94 cases in 2019, and 33 in 2018. One of the problems has been that the PM’s first Focal Person on Polio Eradication, Babar Ata, resigned because he wanted to look after an ailing parent. His replacement, Dr Amanullah Abro, does not seem to have got a proper handle on the job, because the rate of infection only seems to be speeding up.

Instead of doing something about the problem, Prime Minister Imran Khan has blamed Afghanistan, which he says is sending cases over. It should be noted that Afghanistan’s other neighbours, Iran and China, also neighbours of Pakistan, and Pakistan’s neighbour, India, have eliminated polio, and have never accused a neighbour of being responsible. The only other country in the world which still has polio infection, Nigeria, also does not have any neighbours complaining, though there are four of them. Nigeria has moved further than Pakistan and Afghanistan along the path of ridding itself of the scourge of the polio virus, and the WHO has declared that the virus is no longer endemic to the country. Unlike Pakistan, there have been no new cases reported from it since 2014. It seems that Pakistan and Afghanistan are destined to be the last two countries where the poliovirus will still exist in the wild, and where polio could still be caught.

For the elimination of polio from Pakistan needs more than shifting the blame onto someone else. It needs hard work and a clear signal that the Prime Minister himself is concerned about it. There has been no indication so far that this problem has been taken up with Afghanistan, even though this should have been a constant subject in interactions between the two countries, especially since the Prime Minister has the impression that the north-western neighbour is to blame. Even if he did not care before, he should now.

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Pakistan: Two more children crippled by polio in Sindh | The News International.

[February 9, 2020] M. Waqar Bhatti writes:

KARACHI: Polio Eradication Initiative officials on Saturday said two more children in Sindh have been crippled by the Wild Polio Virus 1 (WPV1), taking the tally of polio cases in the province to five and Pakistan to 12.

“The Emergency Operation Centre for polio in Sindh confirms two new polio cases for the year 2020, one each from the District Badin and District Kambar taking the total tally of Sindh to 5 and Pakistan to 12 for 2020,”, an official of the EOC Sindh said on Saturday.

“Muskan Bilawal, a 36 months old female child has been affected by polio in district Badin with weakness in the upper left and lower left limb. The date of onset was January 01, 2020”, the EOC Sindh official said. On the other hand, 42-month old female child Shakeela Imdad Ali, from the village Saffar Khoso, UC Khabar Taluka Mirokhan, District Kambar was tested positive for polio after developing weakness in her right lower limb. The date of onset was January 01, 2020.

Officials at the National and Sindh’s Emergency Operation Centers said they have started to reverse this trend with renewed vaccination campaigns.

The first step was the successful polio vaccination drive in December 2019 followed by a case response in January this year. Another nationwide campaign would be started in February, officials said. They expressed the hope that quality campaigns over the next few months will bridge the immunity gap that will in IshaAllah lead to a significant decrease in the intensity of virus transmission in the second half of 2020. The National EOC and Sindh EOC asked the parents to ensure Immunization of their children both in the routine and the special campaigns during the next few months.

The National Coordinator of the EOC Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar said “With 20,000 children born every single day, suboptimal routine Immunization coverage and pause in campaigns post-Peshawar drama created the current crisis. The fightback has indeed started from December 2019 (first successful NID after Jan 2019)”, and by April their hard work with the cooperation of all segments of the society would help in plugging current gaps and set the stage for our final push towards zero polio.

It is clear that the gap in campaigns last year has left a large immunity gap. It pains us to see the re-emergence of polio cases and it is our mission to reverse this trend and get back on track to save the future generations of Sindh and Pakistan, the officer said. In Karachi the next polio campaign will begin on the 10th of February and in the rest of Sindh districts the campaign will be conducted from the 17th of February onwards.

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Pakistan: Paying the price of immunity gap: polio cases rise to 12 | The News International.

[February 9, 2020] Shahina Maqbool writes:

Islamabad : Suboptimal routine immunization and pause of campaigns in 2019 after the April drama in Peshawar has created a huge immunity gap among children, resulting in polio cases continuously being reported even in 2020. With the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio Eradication confirming another four cases—two from Lakki Marwat and one each from Badin and Kambar on Saturday—the national count for 2020 now stands at 12.

The latest victims of the crippling disease are an 18 month-old boy and a 9 month-old girl from tehsils Bettani and Serae Naurang in Khyber Pahtunkhwa’s district Lakki Marwat. Both these children have not had a single routine immunization dose. The other two cases are a 36 month-old girl from district Badin, and a 42 month-old girl from tehsil Miro Khan in Sindh’s district Kambar.

“Our fight back has just started, with a successful door-to-door National Immunization Campaign in December, with the next campaign scheduled in Karachi from February 10 and the rest of Pakistan from February 17. This will be followed-up by another NID in April. Additionally, the polio programme had planned two strategic response rounds in high-risk districts; one of these rounds was conducted in January while the second is scheduled in March,” an NEOC official stated.

Efforts from December 2019 to April 2020 are expected to plug the immunity gap and significantly reduce virus transmission intensity to the 2017-18 level. “The risk is currently very real; the National EOC urges all parents to vaccinate their children in routine as well as during special door-to-door campaigns to protect their children from lifelong paralysis. I request parents to move a step forward to vaccinate all kids around their own children as well,” NEOC’s National Coordinator Dr. Rana Safdar said while talking to this scribe.

The presence of under-immunized children in clusters provides the virus with the opportunity to keep on replicating and infecting other areas around. Every Pakistani must now take it as their national responsibility to cleanse Pakistan of the virus once and for all.

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Pakistan: Anti-polio drive from February 17 | The News International.

[February 9, 2020]

Rawalpindi: Five day anti-polio campaign will start from February 17 to administer polio vaccines to 855,131 children under five years age across the district.

An official of health department informed APP that 1309 polio teams,236 zonal supervisors, 627 area incharges and Allied and Tehsil Headquarter hospitals would participate in the campaign.

He said all possible steps had been taken by the health department to make the campaign a success.

37 transit centres have also been set up to administer the drops, he added.

He urged the citizens, particularly the parents, to come forward and play their role for the elimination of the crippling disease from the society.

“The parents should cooperate with special teams so that the set target can be achieved,” he said.

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