By MILDRED KATONGO –
GOVERNMENT has said the new Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) to be introduced to 18 month-old babies this year, will be more effective than the oral vaccine.
Government through the ministry of Health announced that a new polio vaccine in the form of an injection will soon be introduced.
Child Health specialist in the Ministry of Health Francis Mwansa said the vaccine will boost the immunity beyond the old oral vaccine.
Dr Mwansa said when he featured on ‘Your health Matters’ on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Sunday edition that, the new vaccine provided an instant and high response of the body in terms of antibodies that were produced in the blood.
He encouraged mothers to take advantage and avail their children for vaccination.
Dr Mwansa said initially, children were given four oral polio doses to prevent the disease but now Government will introduce the IPV at 18 months to supplement what was already being given.
“The injectable type of the polio vaccine provides instant and high response of the body in terms of antibodies that are produced in the blood. As the child is born, they are given the first dosage of polio.
The first dose is usually given from the very moment the child is born to up to two weeks,” he said.
Polio, a highly fatal disease is infectious and is caused by a virus that lives in the throat and intestinal tract and is not cured but only prevented.
Dr Mwansa said over the past 20 years, Zambia had not recorded an outbreak of the disease because of the country’s consistency in providing preventive measures.
“As you are aware there is no cure for polio, we can only prevent the disease through vaccines. This year, Government is introducing a new vaccine in the form of an injection and I am urging mothers to take advantage and have their babies vaccinated,” he said.
Dr Mwansa said the other most effective way of preventing the diseases was through hygiene and washing hands after using the toilet.