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Polio vaccinations available during clinic extended hours

South Africa has been declared polio free for the past 20 years, however, we should always be on guard to ensure that we remain polio free.
With the City of Johannesburg attracting hundreds of travelers every monthly, people’s propensity to travel and the ease of spread of polio, it is important that we are all constantly on high alert and maintain a high standard of preventative care.
The City of Joburg has extended hours of service in some of our clinics to ensure that parents and caregivers have extended access to healthcare services, to ensure that all our children are vaccinated against Polio.

Polio (or poliomyelitis) is a disease caused by the poliovirus, affecting children mainly under the age of 15. It can cause lifelong paralysis where sufferers are unable to move parts of their body. The disease can also be deadly if not properly treated.

While there is no cure for polio and its effects are irreversible, preventative care make will ensure that our children continue to be healthy and safe.

In support of the WHO Polio Eradication Initiative, the City of Johannesburg is committed to ensuring that every child, regardless of personal circumstances, is protected through freely available vaccination at all Public Health Clinic facilities. The risk of lifelong paralysis is very serious and Polio eradication was declared a Public Health Emergency in 2012.

“There is no cure for Polio, but it is completely preventable. Parents and caregivers are urged to ensure that children participate in this mass vaccination campaign which could mean the difference between full functionality and disability, or worse still, the difference between life and death. Let us protect our children. The future of our city is in their hands,” said Dr Mpho Phalatse, MMC for Health and Social Development.

Even children who seem to fully recover can develop new muscle pain, weakness, or paralysis as adults, 30 or 40 years later.

About two to five children out of 100 who have paralysis from polio die because the virus affects the muscles that help them breathe. The Poliovirus is extremely contagious. It spreads through contact with the stool of an infected person. An infected person may spread the virus to others even before the development of symptoms.

Why should my child get the polio vaccine?
• Protects your child from polio, a potentially serious disease.
• Prevents your child from developing lifelong paralysis from polio.

Is the Polio Vaccine safe?

Yes. The polio vaccine is very safe and effective at preventing polio. Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. Most children who get the polio drops have no side effects.

What are the likely side effects?

When side effects do occur, they are usually mild and manifest in the form of a fever, for example.

When is Polio Immunisation in South Africa Administered?

Oral Drops

• Dose 0 at Birth
• Dose 1 at 6 weeks

Polio Injectable

• Dose 3 at 6 weeks
• Dose 4 at 10 weeks
• Dose 5 at 14 weeks
• Dose 6 at 18 months

For more information, please contact:

Dominic Mahlangu
Communications: Office of the MMC for Health and Social Development 
Cell: 082 751 7791