WHO suspends polio vaccination to fight COVID-19

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By Chimezie Godfrey

The World Health Organization (WHO), says it has decided to suspend the house to house vaccination in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, according to the Director General, WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Ghebreyesus who made this disclosure on Friday during a press briefing on COVID-19 said that the polio oversight board, made the hard decision in order to tackle the spread of the pandemic.

“To reduce the risk of increasing transmission of COVID-19, the polio oversight board has made this hard decision to suspend house-to-house vaccination campaigns, knowing that this may lead to an increase in polio cases.

“The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is working to ensure that once it is safe to do so, countries can be supported to rapidly restart polio vaccination campaigns.

“Despite the effect of coronavirus, the ‘EndPolio’ is unshakable.”

The DG however, pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic is a more deadly enemy, while he promised the support of WHO to countries in fight against other infectious diseases.

“To reduce the risk,we will support countries to maintain essential immunization for all vaccine preventable diseases.

“WHO has published guidelines for countries on how to maintain essential health services even while responding to this crises,” he stated.

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