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Mombasa County launches Influenza vaccine to protect children

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[A child receives the Influenza jab at Mrima hospital in Likoni. Photo/Courtesy].

Mombasa County has launched influenza vaccination campaign to protect children from the disease.

The campaign that was launched at Mrima Health Centre in Likoni on Friday will run for four months until September, 30 in all health facilities within Likoni area.

Speaking during the launch, Mombasa County Public Health Chief Officer Pauline Oginga urged mothers to ensure their children get the vaccine to protect them from Influenza.

According to Ms Oginga, the campaign targets children from 6-23 months of age because of their vulnerability to severe influenza and the vaccine will help protecting them from the disease.

“Children will require two doses of the influenza vaccine, the second dose will be given four weeks after the first one,” noted Oginga.

Dangerous

The Influenza Virus is one of the causes of severe respiratory illness.

“Most people develop only mild illness when infected, but in certain cases, they can get severe illness, leading to hospitalisation and sometimes death,” Oginga disclosed.

In Kenya, data has shown that there are 2-15 million influenza infections annually.

In over 250,000 medical visits to various health facilities in Likoni Sub county annually, 25% of the visits are due to respiratory illness and the influenza virus accounts for up to 10-20% of this illness. This according to the Public health Chief Officer, translates to about 6,000-12,000 medical visits due to influenza each year in Likoni.