Bengaluru: About 60 lakh children in the 0-5 age group would be given polio vaccine across Karnataka from Sunday to Wednesday, Health Minister K Sudhakar said.
To augment staff for the polio drive, anti-Covid vaccination has been suspended for four days as children have to be immunised on priority.
“Polio drive began earlier in the day across the state, with health officials giving oral drops to thousands of children and the remaining will be covered by February 3,” said Sudhakar.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa launched the drive by putting a few drops of polio vaccine in the mouths of several toddlers at his home-office here.
“As children across the state should be immunised against polio, I appeal to all parents to get their kids in the 0-5 age group vaccinated by February 3 to achieve the target,” Sudhakar said in a statement here.
“Even if children in the 0-5 age group were given polio drops in the past, there is no harm in vaccinating them again up to 5 years to build immunity,” asserted Sudhakar, a medical doctor by profession.
Though India has been polio-free for a decade, Afghanistan and Pakistan are not.
As the nationwide anti-Covid vaccination drive was launched on January 16, polio vaccination programme was postponed to January 31 from January 17 even in the southern state.
The Health Department has over 85-lakh doses of polio vaccine and 1.1 lakh vaccinators.
“The department has formed 6,645 supervisor teams, 904 mobile teams and set up 32,908 booths across the state to administer polio drops to kids,” the Minister added.