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Ministry Launches Nationwide Chicken Pox Vaccination Scheme

July 13 , 2020

The Ministry of Health launched a nationwide chicken pox vaccination scheme starting on June 30, 2020, targeting to reach 15 million children. Started four decades ago, the vaccination has been regularly given to children in three stages at three months, nine months and one year of age. However, this was not enough to curtail the chicken pox pandemic, according to Lia Tadesse (MD), minister for Health. The Ministry also disclosed that the pandemic has surged recently and is responsible for the death of 115 children this year. Across Ethiopia, there are 4.5 million children who are susceptible to the chicken pox plague, according to Lia. Additionally, the herpes virus, which mostly affects children below five years of age, has become endemic in the last four months as well. Fifty percent of the children who caught the virus were below five years old, and 80pc of them were not vaccinated. Limited accessibility to the regular vaccination, regular vaccination interruption, lack of awareness, and the recent Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were reported as causes of the outbreak of chicken pox. All children between nine months and five years old are required to be vaccinated regardless of whether they were vaccinated before, according to the Minister. In the first week of the vaccination campaign, 5.2 million children were vaccinated.


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