Saturday, May 17, 2014

Polio vaccination: Benazir Bhutto International Airport management fails to activate immunization counter

ISLAMABAD:  The airport management has failed to activate the 24/7 polio vaccination counter at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) to give immunization doses to passengers traveling out of the country.

Airport Manager Mohammad Ayaz Jadoon said that although they have received polio vaccines from the health ministry, they were vaccinating
and issuing certificates to only those passengers intending to leave the country urgently.

“Not all passengers flying abroad are being vaccinated at the airport,” he said.

Jadoon said the federal government has announced vaccination will be mandatory from June 1, and the polio counter will be activated 24 hours-a-day from that date onwards.

“The airport management doesn’t have the capacity to vaccinate every single passenger before departure. It is better they get themselves vaccinated from hospitals,” he said.

He said that every day, over 4,000 people travel abroad, and if all of the passengers started getting vaccines at the airport, this will cause two-to-three-hour delays in flight departures.

Meanwhile, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Vice Chancellor Prof Javed Akram claimed that the day the news about the travel restrictions was announced, some passengers were offloaded from their flights.

“They came to Pims and requested vaccination against and certificates,” he claimed.

Jadoon denied the claim, saying no passengers have been offloaded.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2014.

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