Two policemen guarding vaccinators shot dead

The team of two vaccinators was unharmed, police said.

Local polio vaccination teams are often targeted by anti-vaccine militants, some of whom claim vaccination is a Western plot to sterilise Muslims.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries where polio, which in severe cases can be fatal or leave patients paralysed, remains endemic.

The two gunmen had been hiding near a small water channel before opening fire on the guards from a "very close range", local police said.

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Vanuatu Ministry of Health announces vaccines for children

The national launch will take place in SHEFA Province on Friday.

The vaccines that help prevent pneumonia and diarrhea known as Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), and Rotavirus Vaccine.

The third vaccine known as Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) targets children in school years 4 and 5 and helps prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer.

Rotavirus and Pneumococcal vaccines will be given to children 0–1-year-old at Mother and Child Health clinics throughout the country and will become part of the routine vaccine programme.

UNICEF supports roll out vaccines against infectious diseases and cervical cancer for Pacific children


The deployment of the three vaccines is part of the US$29.7 million System Strengthening for Effective Coverage of New Vaccines in the Pacific Project, which is supporting the introduction of these vaccines in Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the vaccine project was originally established to support the procurement of rotavirus, pneumococcal conjugate, and human papilloma virus vaccines through the United Nations Children's Fund.

Enumerators to assess vaccines knowledge and practices in Vanuatu

The enumerators will travel out to all the provinces in the coming week to interview parents and caregivers, and health workers - all important partners to ensure all children receive vital vaccines by the time they celebrate their first birthday.

According to UNICEF Pacific, partner organisations carrying out this survey include Youth Challenge Vanuatu, Vanuatu Family Health Association and Vanuatu National Youth Council.

Despite significant increases in coverage rates achieved through the Expanded Programme on Immunisation challenges remain.

Vanuatu in trial for drones to carry vaccines to remote areas

Unicef is working with the Vanuatu government on the groundbreaking project in the hope it will save lives.

"If it works it will be massive, it will be huge, it will be another step ensuring that all children get the vaccinations they have a right to and deserve," Sheldon Yett, Unicef Pacific representative says.

1 News reports Unicef has already run successful drone trials in Malawi in Africa to transport HIV/Aids blood samples.

It plans to do the same thing with vaccines in the Pacific with trials starting in Vanuatu in June.