ANAMBRA State government has threatened to sanction health care institutions found to be charging money for immunization.
The warning came on the heels of reports that some private health institutions were charging money for immunizing children in their areas, even as government was also worried about the source and conditions of the vaccines such institutions stock. Addressing reporters in Awka on the ongoing second round of National Immunization Plus Days in Awka, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike reminded the people that immunization was free, noting that all the vaccines were donated free of charge by international donor agencies in partnership with the state government. The routine immunization, which is taking place in all public and private health institutions, churches, motor parks, schools and other places where children could be found, is targeted at over two million people, including pregnant women of children. According to the commissioner, the exercise was a strategy to deliver oral polio vaccine together with other immunization antigens and public health interventions, assuring that the vaccine would help to reduce the burden of vaccine preventable diseases in a bid to sustain the eradication of polio in Anambra State.