As more instances of polio have been discovered in nations throughout the world, the Ministry of Public Health is placing more emphasis on polio immunization for children.
Public health experts are keeping an eye on the global polio case count, as revealed by Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, Permanent Secretary of Public Health, during a meeting with the National Communicable Disease Committee.
The conference decided to implement the Department of Disease Control’s (DDC) plan to build a strategy to respond to a potential polio epidemic and speed up vaccine administration to the target population, children aged 5 or younger.
A recent research indicated that 30 Pakistanis developed wild poliovirus infections, while 577 individuals in 22 countries contracted vaccine-derived poliovirus infections, including 4 in Indonesia.
The poliovirus, which is responsible for causing polio, dwells in an infected person’s throat and intestines and can be fatal. It spreads easily from person to person and, in filthy environments, can even contaminate food and water. Spinal cord infection from the virus can cause paralysis and even death.
Thai children under the age of five and foreign children under the age of fifteen must receive all recommended vaccines, by DDC directive to all provinces. The agency said that the typical vaccination coverage rate is above 90% but has dropped in some locations owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that officials are working to restore the previous level of coverage.
There have been no instances of polio in Thailand in almost twenty years.