UNICEF urges Middle East countries to greenlight vaccination campaigns

The UN children’s agency on Sunday urged six Middle East countries to greenlight special polio and measles vaccination campaigns put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

UNICEF says the polio campaigns are on hold in Syria, Sudan, Yemen and Iraq, while measles vaccinations are suspended in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Djibouti.

UNICEF says nearly 10.5 million children under the age of five risk missing their polio vaccinations. Nearly 4.5 million children under 15 could miss their measles vaccinations.

Routine vaccinations for other diseases like rubella and diphtheria are continuing, but special campaigns were put on hold because of overwhelmed health systems or governments wanting to avoid crowding at clinics.

UNICEF’s Ted Chaiban says immunization is,absolutely critical and possible if safety measures are taken. The agency says the needed vaccines are available and that it’s providing protective equipment