Ty­phoid vac­ci­na­tions in Jan­uary

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Rumbidzai Mu­parutsa

GOV­ERN­MENT has resched­uled ad­min­is­tra­tion of the ty­phoid con­ju­gate vac­cine (TCV) to Jan­uary 2019, The Sun­day Mail has learnt.

The vac­ci­na­tion comes as a sec­ondary mea­sure to pro­tect pop­u­la­tions liv­ing in high risk ar­eas against wa­ter­borne dis­eases af­ter a sim­i­lar pro­gramme to re­duce cases of cholera saw over 950 000 peo­ple be­ing vac­ci­nated re­cently.

The TCV roll-out was meant to be start be­fore the on­set of the 2018-19 sum­mer rains to avoid a sea­sonal in­crease in wa­ter-borne dis­eases.

How­ever, the vac­cine sup­plier faced chal­lenges in de­liv­er­ing the con­sign­ment on time and it is now ex­pected to be avail­able early next month.

Deputy Di­rec­tor for Epi­demi­ol­ogy and Dis­ease Con­trol (Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases) in the Health and Child Care Min­istry, Dr Isaac Phiri said, “The min­istry had planned to de­ploy TCV this Novem­ber tar­get­ing Mbare, Glen View, Kuwadzana and other highly af­fected sub­urbs in Harare.

“Un­for­tu­nately, due to the late de­liv­ery of the vac­cines, the cam­paign has been moved to Jan­uary 2019 when schools re­open. The sup­plier of the vac­cine had last minute lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenges that made it im­pos­si­ble to de­liver the TCV on time.”

Dr Phiri said the cam­paign would tar­get over 300 000 peo­ple aged be­tween nine months and 45 years in Mbare, and be­tween nine months and 15 years in other ar­eas.

“Mbare alone has a high at­tack rate of 30 peo­ple per 1 000. This sub­urb is the most af­fected, ac­count­ing for over 60 per­cent of cases re­ported in 2018,” he said.

“The tar­geted age groups are the most ac­tive and out­go­ing and will ben­e­fit more as they eas­ily de­velop im­mu­nity to sal­mo­nella ty­phi. By pro­tect­ing this group, the en­tire com­mu­nity will ben­e­fit from what is called head im­mu­nity or pro­tec­tion of the com­mu­nity.”

The $700 000 TCV cam­paign is sup­ported by World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, Global Vac­ci­na­tion Al­liance, Unicef, and Médecins Sans Fron­tières.

Gov­ern­ment and its part­ners also in­tend to roll out vac­ci­na­tion in the Na­tional Ex­panded Pro­gram on Im­mu­ni­sa­tion next year, tar­get­ing chil­dren aged two and be­low.

Fail­ure by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, es­pe­cially in Harare, have been blamed for re­cur­rent wa­ter-borne dis­ease out­breaks.

Dr Phiri

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