69 children in northern Nigeria have been infected with a vaccine-derived form of polio. Due to the temporary halt of vaccination efforts in 2003, not all children in Nigeria have been vaccinated against the virus. Those left unvaccinated are susceptible to catching a mutated form of poliovirus from immunized individuals.
Unfortunately, this outbreak will likely lead to more opposition to vaccination efforts in the country, rather than support for the scale-up that is required to prevent such occurrences.
- Elizabeth Kersten