BY RICHARD DRASIMAKU
ARUA: Wednesday, October 19, 2022
The ministry of health has introduced additional doses of vaccines for infants to be included in the routine immunization programs.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, said starting this October the additional doses will include Hepatitis B dose at birth and injectable polio vaccine at one year and a-half months.
Also included is yellow fever vaccine at nine months and measles-rubella vaccine second dose to all children starting from one and a-half years to four years.
Measles remains a public health threat in Uganda with the country experiencing periodic outbreaks in different districts including among previously immunized children.
For the case of polio, the disease which was declared kicked out in 2006 reared its ugly head back when vaccine derived polio virus type two was discovered in effluent in Kampala last year.
Meanwhile the World Health Organization estimates that over 240m people are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus world over.
This makes hepatitis B virus the second most important human carcinogen after tobacco which can lead to premature deaths from liver cirrhosis or cancer.
However, the global health organization says hepatitis B infections can be prevented by one of the safest and most effective vaccines available which if given within 24 hours after birth and followed by at least two subsequent doses, is approximately 90% effective in preventing perinatal hepatitis virus infection.
Dr Atwine emphasized that the additional doses are introduced to give extra protection for children as part of routine and catch-up immunization services.