What is Polio?

Polio is a highly contagious disease, usually affecting children from one to five years of age. Its primary symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, fatigue and pain in the limbs and muscle weakness. The disease can cause paralysis that is untreatable and is irreversible. In late stages, polio can lead to death.

How is Polio transmitted?

Polio virus is transmitted in unhygienic conditions through food and drink contaminated by the feces of an infected person. If ingested by a non-immunized person  , the virus will multiply in the intestine and be excreted through the feces for others to be infected. Sometimes the infected person has mild or few symptoms while other times it attacks the nervous system with paralysis in one or several limbs as a result.

Does Polio affect children older than 5 years old?

It is very rare for a person to be affected by polio after the age of 5, so MOHP Expanded Program on Immunization EPI , targets all children, aged 0-5 years. Non-immunized adults can however still contract the disease, this is why some older children and adult travelers to some Countries , are required to have a Polio vaccination

Who needs the Polio vaccine?

For protection against polio, all children living in Egypt, should be vaccinated from the age of 0 to 5 years.

If I vaccinated my children who are under 5 years old several times before, is it safe for them to get vaccinations again during the national campaigns?

Yes, the additional doses are safe and do not harm the child.  In fact multiple doses  boost the child’s immunity. To ensure that no child remains unvaccinated, all children must be vaccinated during all campaigns, even if they have been vaccinated before.

Is polio vaccination safe?

The Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP), World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
guarantee the quality and effectiveness of this vaccine.
The polio vaccine remains the best, safest and most effective way to immunize a child against polio.

Do my children need the routine vaccination even if they are vaccinated during the national campaign days?

Yes, polio vaccination during campaigns is not a substitute for the routine vaccination programme, but rather a powerful addition to it.

How can I make sure that the vaccination teams are employees of the Ministry of Health and Population?

The vaccination campaigns are reported ahead in the media and UNHCR also widely disseminate the info through UNHCR Facebook , NGO partners , community meetings and other communication means.
In addition to this, vaccination teams have identification cards accredited by the Ministry of Health and Population, for you to easily recognize the Ministry of Health and Population vaccination team as they report to your community from street to street or from door to door.

Is it better to get my children, who are under 5 years old, vaccinated at a private doctor, health offices or mobile teams?

It is important and necessary to get your children vaccinated during the national campaigns in all health units/offices or through the mobile teams of Ministry of Health and Population because this vaccine is not found except through MOHP. Mobile teams are well trained, have quality assured and well-preserved vaccination at the needed temperature and they are carefully supervised by supervisors from MOHP. Health units/offices of MOHP are open during the campaign until 8 pm.

Some private clinics, have no guarantee of maintaining the vaccines storage temperature, and in case of power shortages, the vaccine might not be efficacious and even harmful

If you need more information on Polio, you can watch these videos in different languages: English | Arabic | Somali | Tigrinya | Oromo | Amharic | French