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Hesitant mothers told to visit hospitals for jabs

Migori County Referral Hospital. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

Parents whose children missed out on immunisation due to a shortage of vaccines have been advised to visit nearest health facilities.

Vaccines like polio and BCG, which were unavailable in most hospitals across the country, have now been made available with Migori County receiving its vaccines on June 12.

Health experts have now called on parents and caregivers who have not taken their children for the life-saving vaccines to do so as soon as possible.

“We had a lot of concerns from parents regarding what will happen to their children now that a number of them missed these lifesaving vaccines. Kindly take your children to the nearest health facility and get your child vaccinated,” said Dr Christine Chege, a paediatric infectious disease specialist.

Dr Chege said the danger of receiving vaccines late is during that window period where you don’t have immunity to fight a virus or bacteria which the vaccine protects you against.

She advised parents and caregivers not to delay further but to take their children to the nearest vaccination centres.

Dr Chege explained that professionals tasked with administering vaccines would come up with a catch-up schedule as outlined in the World Health Organisation guideline where children who missed vaccines will be vaccinated.

“Remember that vaccination remains one of the most public health measures against fighting diseases and no parent or caregiver should miss having their children vaccinated,” she remarked.

Emily Otieno, the immunisation services coordinator in Migori County said the county is currently well-stocked with routine vaccines.

She highlighted that supplies have already been distributed to all immunising facilities within the county including public, private and faith-based facilities.

“The vaccines are safe,” Otieno said.

The county received a total of 330,300 doses of vaccines of BCG, oral polio (OPV), IPV, Pentavalent vaccine, PCV-10, Rotavirus, Malaria, measles and rubella (MR), tetanus (TD) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

She encouraged all caregivers and parents with children aged between 0-59 months, and those with girls aged between 10-14 years to visit their nearest health facility and receive the vaccines which they missed during the previous months when there was vaccine stock out.

The county has also embarked on strategies to reach out to the hard-to-reach population and those in flooded areas with the vaccination services so that it helps bridge the gap for the under-vaccinated population as well as missed opportunity cases.

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