A nurse administers a polio vaccine dose on a Tanzanian child.

DAR ES SALAAM– Tanzanian health authorities said Wednesday that 14,690,597 children aged under five years in Tanzania mainland have been vaccinated against polio in the third round of immunization that was conducted from September 1-4.

Minister of Health Ummy Mwalimu said in a statement that the third round of polio vaccination targeted to immunize 12,386,854 children, but 14,690,597 children were vaccinated, an equivalent of 118.6 percent.

The fourth and final polio vaccination will be conducted in November 2022, said the minister, thanking all those involved in the vaccination campaign, including development partners.

“We have every reason to protect our children against polio,” said Mwalimu.

She said the polio vaccination for children followed a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2022 on the outbreak of wild polio virus in Malawi where two cases were reported and in Mozambique where four cases were reported. 

Tanzania completed the second round of supplemental polio vaccination in May 2022 and reached a total of 12,131,049 children against a target of 10,295,316, an equivalent of 117.8 percent. 

Mwalimu said Tanzania was certified as polio-free in 2015 after years without a new polio case.

The East African nation has not detected a polio case since 1996. – Xinhua