Thursday, November 1, 2007

Polio Outbreak in Nigeria due to Oral Vaccine may Thwart Global Eradication Efforts

Sadly, a recent outbreak of polio in Nigeria could lead to another boycotting of the vaccine campaigns -- which would only increase global polio cases. The oral vaccine is to blame for paralyzing 69 children: those vaccinated passed the "weakened" virus into the water and unknowing, unvaccinated children picked it up -- and in some of these children the polio virus mutated into its virulent form. Global officials know that the oral vaccine -- which is cheaper -- is the best bet in Nigeria, even though certain side effects do result. Nigerians may blame the vaccine for this outbreak; however, not enough vaccinations is the issue here. In Northern Nigeria only 39 percent of children are immune to the virus. Let's just pray the Nigerian people do not respond by boycotting the polio eradication efforts a second time.

-Tad Henry

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