The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has introduced a new vaccine into routine immunisation with effect from June 2018.
The Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) which will be available at all health facilities throughout the country, will be given to children for extra protection.
According to officials, the vaccine will be given as an injection on the right thigh of the child within 14 weeks by a trained health worker.
The vaccine will also be given along with OPV, Penta and Pneumo as part of measures to eradicate polio in the country.
The vaccine has been used in over sixty (60) countries worldwide, over the decades with only minor side effects reported.
Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang announced a media sensitisation on the introduction of the new Polio vaccine in Kumasi.
He said the IPV vaccination is a critical step to achieving a lasting polio-free country.
Dr Tenkorang indicated that the IPV is safe and effective, whether given alone or in combination with other vaccines.
He explained that the GHS is using the new vaccine as part of the polio eradication initiative which was started by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“We are almost getting to the end of our eradication face. Previously we were using oral polio vaccine and this time we are introducing a new one which is better than the oral vaccine, because the previous one is a live vaccine”, he added.
The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate is targeting more than two hundred thousand children to be vaccinated every year while 4% of the population will be vaccinated across the country.
The new vaccine will be added to the existing thirteen (13) vaccine-preventable diseases on the profile of the GHS.
Gavi is spearheading the initiative with support from the Government of Ghana (GoG), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners.
The vaccine will be given to children across the country.
He called on the community and mothers to cooperate with health workers who will be deployed to undertake the immunisation exercise.
He also called on the media to support by sensitising members of the general public to get mothers to take their children to immunisation centres to be vaccinated.He emphasised that the service has achieved tremendous outcomes through the use of vaccines in the eradication of polio and other diseases.