Since the inception of the polio eradication programme in 1994, the only thing that did not get its due share of attention was the welfare of vaccinators. Now, the National Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Eradication has decided to reduce the number of vaccination drive days to five from 20, mainly to lessen fatigue and legwork of vaccinators and security forces and minimise financial cost of prolonged drives. Under the new arrangement, the campaign has been restricted to November 4 to 8 – three days for door to door vaccination and two days for catch-up vaccination. The decision was taken on the recommendations and findings of the Technical Advisory Group on Polio, Independent Monitoring Board, and Institute of Disease Modelling. They found that “the country should carry out campaigns with a gap of eight weeks, to prepare optimally for having quality campaigns”. According to Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Babar bin Atta, the drives used to consume more days because of the security situation. Also, the lack of security staff made it impossible to carry out the vaccination across the country. With improved security indicators, the campaigns starting from December 16 will begin simultaneously across the country, which means every child under five will be vaccinated at the same time.
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