The number of parents taking their children for vaccination in Trans Nzoia County has reduced drastically due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing stakeholders in the health sector recently at the Trans Nzoia County Referral Hospital, Angeline Otieno, who is the County Vaccination Officer revealed that the county plans to vaccinate 28,000 children through a vaccination exercise rolled out early this month.
The exercise is scheduled to end in February of 2021.
Otieno said the Periodic Intensified Routine Immunization activities that will last for 100 days seek to ensure that the county is free from preventable diseases and also targets children who were not vaccinated in 2020, following the outbreak of the pandemic.
“The County had targeted to vaccinate 28,484 children with various vaccines, but we already achieved a lot,” she added.
“Routine Vaccination of children is always supposed to finish by the age of one year, but with the calamities that we have faced as a country, I want to call upon the community to ensure that we have vaccinated all children as the vaccines are administered free of charge. Schools and churches should join hands to ensure the vaccination exercise is successful,” she added.
The sentiments were echoed by Health Promotion Officer Leah Okumu who reiterated the county government’s commitment to addressing issues grounding immunization of children in the county.
She said in the next 100 days, the county targets 95 percent of unvaccinated children with 70 percent being for HPV vaccine for girls aged between 10-14 years old.
Mrs. Okumu said the county has 115 health care facilities that offer vaccination and immunization, and it has also organized outreaches in markets and churches, targeting all children below the age of 5 years who have not been vaccinated.
She called on relevant stakeholders to mobilize parents for the routine vaccination even over the weekends, warning that parents who resist will have no option but to face the full force of the law.
On her part, one of the county champions on vaccination against preventable diseases who is also a polio survivor Sophy Kitwai urged parents to ensure their children are vaccinated saying it will help prevent them from contacting polio which has caused her a lot of difficulty in her life.
“Some of the parents in the past didn’t know the importance of vaccination. That is the reason I am one of those who contracted polio at the age of 9 months that paralyzed my legs and I could not walk or play like other children,” Kitwai said.
She also called on expectant mothers to deliver at the health facility to ensure that they get all antenatal clinic and prenatal services.