Don’t forget to vaccinate

The Department of Health carries out two immunisation rounds every year. The first round which covers polio and measles, takes place between April 29 and May 17.

The second round covers only polio and will run between June 17 and 28.

The World Health Organisation is supporting the department to successfully carry out the planned immunisation.

The department recommends that children under the age of five be immunised against the most common childhood diseases.

In 2006, the overall routine immunisation coverage for South Africa was less than 80 per cent and some districts still had less than 60 per cent immunisation coverage.

Dangerous childhood diseases such as measles and polio, with potential fatal complications especially in small children, can be prevented most effectively.

Immunisations for childhood vaccine preventable diseases are available free of charge at public health clinics.

The last case of polio was reported in South Africa in 1989.

But as long as there are still cases of wild poliovirus anywhere in the world, polio can easily be imported and spread within another polio free country if all children have not been fully vaccinated.

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