A new polio vaccine called IPV ((Inactivated Polio Vaccine) has been introduced into Ghana’s routine immunisation programme for children who are 14 weeks old.
Together with other routine vaccines, the vaccine is expected to help accelerate the global eradication of polio and help prevent a resurgence of the disease.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as the UNICEF and other health partners are introducing the new vaccine.
A press statement announcing the new vaccine was published in the Daily Graphic newspaper on Monday, June 25, 2018.
Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) has been the primary tool in the global polio eradication effort and has reduced the global incidence of the disease by more than 99 per cent.
Below is a copy of the press statement
The Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UNICEF as well as other health partners has introduced a new polio vaccine called IPV (Inactivated Polio Vaccine) into Ghana’s routine immunisation programme for children at 14 weeks old, together with other routine vaccines.
The vaccine is expected to accelerate the global eradication of polio and help prevent a resurgence of the disease. Poliomyelitis is a crippling disease, which can lead to permanent disability and deaths. Poliovirus is highly infectious and one can be infected by drinking or eating food contaminated with faeces from an infected person. Polio can also be spread through saliva or droplets from sneeze or cough.
Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) has been the primary tool in the global polio eradication effort and has reduced the global incidence of the disease by more than 99 per cent. The poliovirus is now only endemic in three countries worldwide; Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Evidence clearly demonstrates that adding one dose of IVP to multiple doses of OPV is the most effective method to stop the virus and protect children. The introduction of IVP globally also paves the way for the eventual withdrawal of all OPV vaccines once poliovirus transmission is stopped.
In 2017, a total of 22 cases of polio were reported, down from more than 350,000 in 1988 when the global polio eradication efforts began. Despite this progress, experts caution that polio-free countries will remain at risk of re-infection until the disease has been eradicated everywhere. Adding IPV to OPV in routine immunization schedules will help protect all populations most effectively against a possible polio re-emergence.
The Ministry of Health. Ghana Health Service is by this statement informing the general public that, injectable inactivated polio vaccine is available at all health facilities and weighing centres for children who are 14 weeks old. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to send their babies at 14 weeks for inactivated polio vaccine.