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WHO lauds introduction of yellow fever vaccine into Ethiopia’s routine immunization

Addis Ababa, March 18, 2024 (FBC) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has lauded the recent decision by Ethiopia to approve life-saving yellow fever vaccine into the country’s routine immunization program.

This decision is a major part of Ethiopia’s efforts to implement the Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics strategy that aims to protect almost one billion people against this deadly disease worldwide and eliminate its epidemics by the end of 2026, the WHO said in a statement.

Nonhlanhla Dlamini, acting representative of the WHO Ethiopia, said the approval to introduce the yellow fever vaccine in Ethiopia is a significant breakthrough to ensure the availability of vaccines for the people of the country and protect populations at risk.

“The WHO is coordinating the effort and supporting the government by engaging multidisciplinary partners to extend their support with the resource required for smooth integration of yellow fever vaccine into their routine immunization schedule,” the statement quoted Dlamini as saying.

This year, the Eliminate yellow fever epidemics (EYE) strategy will host its 7th Annual Partners’ Meeting in Addis Ababa from 19 to 21 March and provides an opportunity for Ethiopia to gain insights from countries that have already introduced yellow fever vaccine into their routine immunization schedules, and that have conducted preventive vaccination campaigns, ENA reported.

State Minister of Health Dereje Duguma said “Hosting this EYE Partners’ meeting immediately after the country’s significant decision allows us to learn from the experiences of other countries and seek support from EYE partners to effectively implement the EYE Strategy within our nation.”

Yellow fever is a viral disease transmitted between humans by the bites of mosquitoes, according to the WHO.

There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, which has a case fatality rate as high as 31 percent to 47 percent for those who develop severe forms of the disease. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine provides life-long protection, the WHO noted.

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