Up to 2.4 million children across Syria will be protected from killer diseases during a two-part vaccination campaign at schools and at health centres through a series of Child Health Days.
The first part of the vaccination campaign kicked off in schools on 20 October, where 800,000 children in grades 5-9 (10-14 years of age) will be given MMR vaccine.
A further 1.6 million children, aged under five years of age, will be vaccinated during a catch-up vaccination campaign, which will run for two weeks from 24 October. MMR vaccine will be given to children who missed it during the first round; polio vaccine will be given to all children regardless of their previous doses, in addition to routine vaccinations for the drop-outs. Children under five will also receive a Vitamin A supplement.
UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Health-led campaign, including through the provision of syringes, safety boxes, vaccination cards, and communication materials. Kuwait has generously supported the purchase of essential life-saving vaccines for Syria and the provision of cold-chain equipment, including cold rooms.
Continued fighting and an ever-changing security situation create unique challenges to reach all children across Syria. During the Child Health Days, UNICEF will also work with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to reach high-risk children across lines with life-saving vaccinations.
UNICEF continues to advocate at the national level for humanitarian access to all children in need in Syria, no matter their location.