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Ghana to conclude second round of polio vaccinations

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Ghana to conclude second round of polio vaccinations

Ghana polio
Ghana polio
Ghana will conclude its second round of polio vaccinations today – Photo: World Health Organization

The second round of polio vaccinations in Ghana—which began on October 6—is expected to be completed today.

It follows the first round on September 6-9. The program targets over six million children under five years old—92% of all children in that age-group. Ghana’s ten-year polio-free status ended in 2019 when polio was detected in the country as part of a wider African spread traced to Pakistan—one of only two countries where polio is still considered endemic.

The immunization program’s latest round is on track to be successful with the 92% target exceeded in most districts and only two cases of polio paralysis reported in the country this year. However, outbreaks in neighboring countries pose a challenge for Ghanaian health authorities attempting to stamp out further importation of cases. Globally, vaccination programs suffered during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21. Indeed, the lowest global polio immunization rates in 15 years were recorded in 2021.

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Expect an ongoing risk of polio outbreaks in Africa, which is likely to continue polio’s status as an ongoing health threat in Ghana in the short-to-medium term.

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