Skeptic News: A million children miss polio vaccination

From: International News

Around one million children across the country could not be administered polio vaccine drops during the three-day National Immunization Days due to multiple reasons including unrest, flooding, internal migration and negligence of vaccinators, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Pakistan’s polio monitoring officials said on Wednesday.

Officials of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) would launch a ‘special catch-up campaign’ from October 18-19 (Thursday and Friday) to administer polio vaccine drops to around one million children, who missed the drops due to unrest in Balochistan, flooding in Sindh, internal migration in Punjab and carelessness of vaccinators in other areas.

WHO’s Senior Coordinator for Polio Vaccination in Pakistan Dr. Elias Durry confirmed the number of children who were unable to get polio vaccine drops, saying it was a “cause of concern for the authorities”.

Although approximately 90% of polio infections cause no symptoms at all, affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the virus enters the blood stream.In about 1% of cases, the virus enters the central nervous system, preferentially infecting and destroying motor neurons, leading to muscle weakness and acute flaccid paralysis. Different types of paralysis may occur, depending on the nerves involved. Spinal polio is the most common form, characterized by asymmetric paralysis that most often involves the legs. Bulbar polio leads to weakness of muscles innervated by cranial nerves. Bulbospinal polio is a combination of bulbar and spinal paralysis.

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