Posted by: Marisa Dowling
69 Nigerian children have been paralyzed by the oral polio vaccine meant to stop the disease, USA Today reports.
Outbreaks caused by the oral vaccine's live virus have occurred previously. But the continuing Nigerian outbreak is the biggest ever caused by the vaccine.
This is largely attributable to the ongoing boycott against the vaccine by Muslims in the country, who believe it is a plot to sterilize Muslims. With this large susceptible population, officials fears that this virus-induced outbreak will spread into this unvaccinated population, where the virus may mutate into novel forms, for which there is no vaccine.
But this outbreak has only increased beliefs that the vaccine is unsafe, hindering the WHO goal of a polio-free world.