Kenyan government tells parents not to worry over polio vaccine

When the government announced a house-to-house drive for polio vaccination, parents were glad that they will not have to worry about their children missing the jab. However, the joy was cut short when their children started showing adverse reactions to the vaccine.

Parents have been complaining of effects such as fever, body aches, drowsiness, fussing and vomiting.

A mother on Facebook also posted:

Has there been an outbreak from the Polio Vaccination received by kids last week.Anyone who has noticed side effects of fever and vomiting?This has occured for the 1st time to my daughter and am worried.The las 3days have beeen bad — feeling sad.

Upon seeing these effects, parents rushed their children to the hospital to avoid complications. Some parents have been so scared that they decided to hide their other children so that they don’t get the vaccine.

This is quite dangerous as polio is a highly contagious debilitating disease which affects children and causes permanent paralysis. Polio is not curable, and can only be prevented by vaccination.

However, the doctors have come out to state these effects are quite common.

The Director of Medical Services, Dr Jackson Kioko has asked parents not to panic as the bivalent vaccine has more side effects compared to the vaccine previously used.

“Any vaccine’s used have advanced effects. They will always have a certain level of risks. With this regard with the ongoing polio campaign, we are providing people with the bivalent vaccine. It has more risks compared to what was there,” he said.

Nevertheless, parents have said it would have been better if the ministry of health and the officials giving out the vaccine warn the parents of the side effects instead of waiting until they manifested in their children.

The bivalent vaccine replaced the trivalent vaccine in 2016, according to the World Health Organisation. 

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