Health DG: Administration of four-dose polio vaccine to continue according to schedule

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The administration of four doses of the polio vaccine for infants is continuing at government health facilities under the National Immunisation Programme during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health director-general said that the administration of the vaccine for infants aged aged two, three, five and 18 months will follow the stringent standard operating procedures (SOP) by taking into the account the importance of immunisation for infants and children to prevent disease.

"During the MCO and the conditional MCO, health clinics are open for immunisation. Parents are urged to continue bringing their children to health clinics for immunisation during the MCO period, ” he said during his daily press briefing on Wednesday (Nov 18).

Dr Noor Hisham said until June this year, the immunisation coverage for polio vaccine given in a combination of five sessions for children nationwide was 95.6 per cent compared to 98.4 per cent for the same period last year.

"There was a disruption in the follow-up immunisation administration during MCO as parents were anxious about exposure to Covid-19 when bringing their children out," he said.

Asked about the polio immunisation campaign in Sabah, he said since the Philippines reported polio cases in Sept 2019, action to detect polio cases in the country had been increased, including in the state.

Dr Noor Hisham added that so far, four polio cases have been confirmed in the laboratory in Sabah.

He also said that the the polio immunisation campaign in Sabah which started on Nov 27 last year to Nov 16 this year saw a total of 820,135 children under the age of 13 given two doses of bivalent polio vaccine regardless of nationality.

He also said that 737,936 children under the age of 13 have received two doses of oral polio monovalent vaccine throughout Sabah, he said.

Dr Noor Hisham added that 24,297 children under the age of 13 received two doses of oral polio bivalent vaccine during the Labuan polio immunisation campaign held from June 11 to Nov 16.

"I went down to the ground to see the vaccination administered to the children of Malaysians and non-citizens in Sabah. The positive impact (from the campaign) is that the last case was detected on March 10 this year, ” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the detection of polio cases continued through the Acute Flaccid Paralysis Surveillance Programme and a total of 115 cases were detected nationwide as of Nov 12, which have been confirmed as non-polio cases. - Bernama

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