Health authorities in the district reached out to 3.16 lakh children below the age of five during the first two days of the Pulse Polio immunisation drive on Sunday and Monday.

On Sunday, when polio vaccine was administered through 3,243 booths set up across the district, as many as 2.39 lakh children were covered. As many as 77,274 children were given pulse polio vaccines on Monday, when health workers visited thousands of homes across the district. Fasting on account of Sivaratri had a negative effect on the immunisation drive, the health workers said. More number of children would be covered on Tuesday when house visits would be completed.

District Medical Officer K. Sakeena said the district had made headway in pulse polio immunisation by covering more number of children during the first two days of the drive than it used to in the past. The district has 4.05 lakh children below five years of age.

Dr. Sakeena said covering 90 per cent of the children would be a creditable achievement considering the resistance of people in the district to the immunisation programme.

She said the anti-polio vaccine propaganda unleashed by a section of people had had little impact in the district. “In fact, the strict measures we took against those engaged in misleading the people boosted the morale of our staff,” she said.

The authorities have been focussing attention on the migrant population in the district, especially in the light of detection of the last polio virus case in West Bengal in 2011. The district has many migrant labourers from West Bengal. “If a virus carrier reaches an unvaccinated pocket in the district, there may be chances of the virus attacking our people,” Rose Mary, District Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Officer, said.