‘The United Nations has completed the first round of a vaccination campaign following a polio outbreak in Syria’s Dayr al-Zawr and Raqqah provinces.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) teamed up with the World Health Organization (WHO) and local partners to vaccinate 355,000 children under five years of age in the two provinces, said UNICEF representative in Syria Fran Equiza.
Before the Syrian crisis started in 2011, the country was considered polio-free, but according to UNICEF, the current polio immunization rate in the country has plummeted from over 80 percent to just over 40 percent…
…Unlike Syria’s first polio outbreak in 2013, which paralyzed 36 children before it was brought under control, the new outbreak has been derived from the polio vaccine itself.
The vaccine which contains a weakened form of the polio virus can be secreted in the bodily waste of vaccinated children, and it can gradually mutate into an infectious strain that may afflict the unvaccinated children.’