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The Kenya Forum | Vaccinations for 7.4 million Children in Kenya Following Polio Outbreak - The Kenya Forum

August 25, 2023

Summary

The outbreak of polio was confirmed to be derived from the vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) NOT from the wild polio virus that was last reported in Kenya in 2013.

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Vaccinations for 7.4 million Children in Kenya Following Polio Outbreak

Vaccinations for 7.4 million Children in Kenya Following Polio Outbreak

Universal Healthcare Kenya

The Ministry of Health is to vaccinate 7.4 million children aged under five across 10 counties following an outbreak of polo that as left six children infected with the virus of whom two were paralysed.

The 10 counties where the vaccination programmed is to be conducted are Garissa, Kajiado, Kiambu, Kitui, Lamu, Machakos, Mandera, Nairobi, Tana River and Wajir.

Three cases of the vaccine-derived polio virus were confirmed in mid-July in Garissa leading to the World Health Organisation and the US Embassy in Nairobi advising people travelling to the region to get vaccinated.

Polio in Hagadera Refugee Camp

The July polio outbreak was identified among Somali refugees in Fafi subcounty following community contact with the Hagadera refugee camp and was reported by the Polio Eradication Initiative.

The outbreak of polio was confirmed to be derived from the vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) NOT from the wild polio virus that was last reported in Kenya in 2013.

“Genetic sequencing confirms the isolated cVDPV2 are linked to cVDPV2 currently circulating in Banadir, Somalia”, said a spokesman for the Polio Eradication Initiative.

Vaccine-derived viruses are common worldwide (including cases in 2022 in the UK and USA) and are especially common in under-vaccinated communities.

The last reported outbreak of the vaccine-derive polio in Kenya was in December 2020 and January 2021.

Health Permanent Secretary Mary Muthoni said the vaccination programme will be carried out door-to-door and in health facilities in the 10 counties.

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