HAVANA, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) — Nearly half a million Cuban children will be vaccinated against polio starting Monday as part of an annual campaign to prevent the disease, eradicated on the island since 1962, the Ministry of Public Health said.

In its report, the ministry outlined that this week about 330,002 children under three will receive a first oral dose, while 124,288 nine-year-old children will receive a booster dose.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, immunization will be conducted under strict health protection measures, including the use of new vaccination sites in conjunction with polyclinics to avoid overcrowding.

Poliomyelitis is caused by the poliovirus, which can lead to acute flaccid paralysis and notable motor disabilities in children.

In the last 60 years, the Cuban health system has managed to eliminate tetanus, meningitis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, typhoid fever and meningococcal disease, which are no longer a health problem in the Caribbean nation at rates of less than one per million inhabitants.

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