The polio vaccine given to children under the age of five is safe, Kenya Paediatric Association has said.
Some parents had expressed concern over the vaccine, saying their children had fallen sick after receiving the oral vaccination.
According to some parents who took to social media to express their concerns, their children had shown serious side-effects after receiving the new round of the recently-concluded polio vaccination. Some of the side-effects included convulsion, diarrhoea, fever and vomiting.
In a press statement, the Kenya Paediatric Association noted that since the mass vaccination was conducted during the cold flu season, the reports may be related to flu infection.
The reports, the statement added, may therefore be of coincidental occurrence of flu infection at the time of vaccination. However, it noted, there is s need for vigilance and investigation of the cases for any new emerging trends.
“The mass vaccination campaign may have increasing interaction among children, mobilisers and vaccinators with heightened spread of flu and increased incidence of the same,” the statement noted.
The association, whose principal members are paediatricians (doctors who specialise in children and their diseases), added that despite the country having a national system to continuously monitor and assure vaccine safety, the recent reports of flu like symptoms, vomiting and fever – never reported before in previous campaigns – do not form part of expected adverse events from the vaccine.
The Health ministry last week conducted a five-day polio vaccination campaign targeting children under five years in 12 high-risk counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Isiolo, Meru, Lamu, Kitui and Tana River.
This was the second round of vaccination in response to a polio outbreak scare after the Kenya Medical Research Institute personnel found the samples of the crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease, caused by the poliovirus, in the sewage in Eastleigh estate, Nairobi County.