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Punjab launching first typhoid vaccination campaign February as cases rise

It will target children between 9 months and 15 years

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 12, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Posted: Dec 12, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago

In this file photo, a Pakistani policeman displays a typhoid vaccine in Peshawar. (AFP)

The Punjab government has decided to start administering the typhoid vaccine to children as cases soar. This is the first time the typhoid vaccine will be given to children in the province. 

The immunisation campaign will run from February 1 to February 13 next year. It will target children between the ages of nine months and 15 years.

As more cases have been reported from urban areas, the campaign will be launched there first, said the typhoid programme in-charge in Punjab. Children in rural areas will be covered later.

Around 1.7 million children will receive the vaccine in Faisalabad. There is an urgent need to start vaccination before more children are affected, the doctor said.

“Out of the cases we have seen recently 89% of them were extremely drug-resistant (XDR typhoid).” 

XDR typhoid is a more severe form of typhoid infection where the strain of Salmonella Typhi that causes the disease does not respond to most antibiotics.

In November last year the Sindh government had inaugurated the world’s first immunisation campaign to protect children against extremely drug-resistant typhoid in Sindh.

The campaign was initiated after more than 10,000 people in the province contracted the disease, with the majority being children under the age of 15. The drug-resistant typhoid strain had also spread to other parts of the world because of Pakistan.

The typhoid vaccine is a new vaccine that was approved by the WHO for typhoid outbreaks. It is a conjugate vaccine (TCV) that strengthens the child’s immune system against both typhoid and XDR typhoid.

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