A mass immunization is under way in the Syrian Arab Republic to protect young children against polio and measles, according to UNICEF.
Nearly 2.5 million children aged younger than 5 years reside in Syria. Health officials said the goal is to immunize all children aged younger than 5 years against polio and 2 million children against measles. Infants were also given paracetamol and multivitamin syrup.
Because of escalations in the conflict in Syria, the national vaccination coverage for the first quarter of 2012 decreased from 95% to 80%, and the rates have likely decreased even further since then, according to UNICEF.
Approximately 4,000 health workers and volunteers worked on the campaign, which began Nov. 26 and is slated to end today. The campaign is being implemented by the Ministry of Health with support from WHO and UNICEF.