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Egypt to launch four-day polio vaccination drive from December 11

Health Ministry aims to administer doses to 16 million children

Egypt will send 90,000 health workers to carry out a nationwide polio vaccination drive from December 11, the Health Ministry has said.

The campaign seeks to inoculate 16 million children under the age of five, including foreign citizens, in all 27 provinces free of charge, the ministry said.

The World Health Organisation and UN children’s fund declared Egypt free of polio in 2006 after two years without any confirmed cases. Egypt had long suffered from polio outbreaks before then.

This year, polio vaccinations will be administered at hospitals and medical centres, as well from mobile vaccination units that will visit public squares, metro stations, mosques, churches, malls and public parks.

Health workers will also go to door to door from 8am to 5pm on all four days of the initiative, the ministry said.

Egyptian Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said the vaccination campaign was held annually to ensure the country remained free of polio.

In October, a voice message circulated on WhatsApp appeared to suggest that polio cases were on the rise in Egypt.

Mr Abdel Ghaffar responded by announcing that the disease had been eradicated and there was no cause for concern.

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