vacuna-polioHavana, Cuba.-The 56th National Oral Polio Vaccine Campaign has started today in Cuba in which 471,888 children will be immunized in two stages in all provinces.

Of that total, about 363,778 under the age of three will receive two doses (in drops) of the vaccine, in two periods, from February 20 to 26 and from April 17 to 23, the head of the immunization program in the island, Lena Lopez, told the press.

The vaccine will be also reactivated for 108,110 nine-year-old children in a second stage, the official explained.

Ensuring that no child stays without his dose, those who for certain reasons, such as diarrhea or fever, could not receive the vaccine, will be immunized during an additional week, she added.

The expert stressed that all vaccination centers in the country are involved in this anti-polio campaign.

She also meant the support of mass organizations, such as the Federation of Cuban Women and the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, to ensure the success of such an important campaign.

About 83,800,000 doses of the polio vaccine have been administrated in Cuba in the period from 1962 to 2016, so all the population under 69 years is protected against this disease.

According to the World Health Organization, poliomyelitis is a highly contagious disease that most commonly affects infants and young children, caused by a virus that invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.