Skip to main content
UNICEF Canada Close

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribing to our newsletter is more than just being a part of yet another email list. By joining, you are participating in the fight for child survival. You will become a part of a global effort to keep children safe, no matter the circumstances.

Close

What would you like to search?

Millions of children in Syria and region to be vaccinated against polio, measles, mumps and rubella

2013-10-25

Major immunization campaign under way now in Syria

AMMAN / GENEVA, 25 October 2013 - As Syria awaits confirmation of suspected polio cases in the east of the country, UNICEF has joined the World Health Organisation and other partners in mounting a large-scale immunization effort aimed at protecting as many children as possible both in the country and across the region against polio, as well as other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Inside Syria, a campaign led by the Ministry of Health began on October 24 targeting 2.4 million children with vaccines against polio, measles, mumps and rubella.

Around 500,000 children in Syria have not been vaccinated against polio in the past two years due to insecurity and access constraints. Prior to the conflict, immunization coverage in Syria was about 95 per cent.

The conflict in Syria has caused immense displacement, with millions of children on the move, either inside the country or across borders into neighbouring countries and beyond. As a result, routine immunization systems so critical to preventing childhood diseases have been disrupted or broken down, and children are now at far higher risk of diseases such as polio and measles.

UNICEF is mobilizing a huge supply operation to make sure that vaccines are in place across the region, and reaching out to partners across all sectors to help raise community awareness of the importance of vaccinating children.

Multiple, supplemental immunization campaigns against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases will take place inside Syria and across the region through the end of the year.

-30-

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries – more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.