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23 May 2024

Polio vaccination must from today for Pakistanis going overseas

By Waheed Abbas

Pakistan government has made mandatory for residents flying to the UAE and other countries to get polio vaccination and carry vaccination certificates from today (June 1).

The government has supplied over one million certificates at all hospitals, airports, ports and other points of exits, Pakistan’s Ministry of Health Services said.

All the passengers – including pregnant women – need to get vaccination dose at federal and provincial hospitals and airports before departure.

Counters have been set up at all the federal and provincial hospitals for polio vaccination and the certificates will also be issued from the same counters after the vaccination.

The polio vaccination has been made mandatory after the World Health Organisation announced travel guidelines last month for Pakistan, Syria, Cameroon and a number of other countries to curtail disease.

Around 27,000 Pakistanis fly abroad every day, who will need to now carry certificates as proof of vaccination.

Pakistan’s Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarrar had earlier affirmed that the government will ensure elimination of polio from the country and urged all parties and community members to come forward and help in this national cause.

WHO guidelines show that Pakistani expatriates who travel back to the country and stay there for a month will have to get polio vaccination.

Under the alert released by WHO, residents and long-term visitors coming from Pakistan and Syria will receive a dose of OPV or IPV 4 weeks to 12 months prior to international travel; while those undertaking urgent travel (i.e. within 4 weeks) should be encouraged to receive a dose at least by the time of departure.

[Image via Shutterstock]