The target for Coimbatore in the second phase of 18th annual Pulse Polio Programme to be conducted on Sunday (February 24) has increased by 3,920, the number of children born in the district since January 20 when the first phase was held. Deputy Director of Health Services R. Damodharan told The Hindu here on Wednesday that an ‘additional booster dose’ would be administered during the second phase, which was vital to create ‘vaccine memory’ in the child.

Giving a break-up of the new-borns in the district since January 20, he said that 2,291 were in rural areas and 1,629 in urban areas that comprise Coimbatore Corporation limits, Mettupalayam and Pollachi. The newborn babies in Corporation areas alone were 1,452.

“Only after administering the additional dose can a child be said to be 100 per cent secure against polio virus. This booster dose has to be given around 30 days after the first dose. Even if a child was born on the day before the campaign, the child must be given drops on Sunday as the vaccine was being administered simultaneously to cut the virus transmission chain.”

A senior official from the Directorate of Public Health would also be in Coimbatore district on Sunday to evaluate the campaign.

In the first phase, the entire target of 3,39,871 lakh children in the age group of zero to five years were covered along with another 10,484 children of tourists, travellers and immigrants, taking the total number of children immunised in Coimbatore district to 3,50,355.

Dr. Damodharan said that the logistical arrangements of phase one would be retained for phase two.

A district-level Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) team comprising a general physician and a paediatrician would be on duty.

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