Polio vaccine is safe, government tells parents

Director of Medical Services Dr. Jackson Kioko reading speech from his Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu. The polio vac...

Director of Medical Services Dr. Jackson Kioko leading speech from his Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu.


Director of Medical Services Dr. Jackson Kioko reading speech from his Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu.
The polio vaccine given to children under the age of five is safe, the government has said. Parents have complained about their children falling sick after the jab.
But director of medical services Jackson Kioko yesterday said there is no cause for alarm. He said the sicknesses could be a result of an influenza virus outbreak.
What the mothers may not be aware of is that this is the season of the influenza virus outbreak. You may not tell whether what the child is experiencing is because of the polio vaccine or other conditions," Kioko told the Star on the phone.
He said the ministry was receiving data indicating that the flu has been in season from mid last month. It can continue through to August.
"The flu mainly affects children below the age of five due to low immunity,” Kioko said.
Last week, the government conducted a four-day campaign on polio vaccinate in which 2.4 million children aged five and below were targeted.
The campaign was carried out in 12 high-risk counties.
Kioko said they were using a monovalent oral polio vaccine to prevent a viral infection. He said the challenges mothers pointed out could be due to the existing influenza virus.
Mothers should not worry because this is what we have been using in our past polio vaccine campaigns," He said.
Previous vaccinations have had no problems. He asked people to study the timing of the vaccine and the disease trend in the country.
"But I want to assure mothers that they should not worry about anything,” Kioko said.
Kenya was set to be certified polio-free this year if no outbreaks were reported. But a case on April 6 threatens that achievement after traces of polio type two virus were found in a sewage in Kamukunji.
The virus has also been reported in countries such as DR Congo, Syria and Papua Guinea. The latter was however declared and certified polio free in 2000 by the World Health Organization.

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Today in Kenya: Polio vaccine is safe, government tells parents
Polio vaccine is safe, government tells parents
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