In our country, all age group has suffered the most due this Covid-19 outbreak that continues to impact the lives of people across the globe. One of the severe outcomes of the same reason is, we are unable to immunize our children regularly. The numbers have increased as soon as this Covid-19 outbreak hit Pakistan. In April only, two-thirds of children missed out on routine immunization. In January these numbers were high.
These missed children are increasing the risk factor of a disease outbreak. Our routine immunization vaccination should be continued/resumed. No doubt our healthcare staff is capable of taking all precautionary measures while vaccinating. Parents are requested to not miss the routine immunization.
Referring to the same April month almost 40 million children missed out on their polio drops as the nationwide polio campaign. The authorities had to postpone. Since the Polio campaign is reinstated, we as parents have an obligation to vaccinate our children, when teams are visiting at homes.
Here it is worth mentioning that these routine vaccines help protect children and adolescents from the following serious diseases:
- Childhood Tuberculosis (TB)
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
With the limited resources during the pandemic, the health system in the country is doing an amazing job. Still, they need more support to be injected into the system to avoid a major issue. A catch-up campaign to reach children missed due to suspension of immunization during the lockdown period was being planned. That is now implemented through the Provincial Expanded Programme for Immunisation with support from partners (UNICEF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Gavi the Vaccine Alliance).
As we are now aware that vaccines are one of the most powerful tools in public health. We must make sure a safe delivery during the pandemic and essential life-saving programmes must continue to avoid a situation where suffering and death caused by children missing out on routine immunization exceeds that caused by Covid-19.