to children–The Guardian
government orders on charges of endangering public security
Hundreds of parents in north-west Pakistan have been
arrested and jailed after refusing to give their children polio vaccinations,
according to officials.
Feroz Shah, a spokesman for the district administration in
Peshawar, said 471 people had been imprisoned in the city and surrounding
villages under government orders on charges of endangering public security.
Parents targeted by police were not arrested if they agreed
to vaccinate their children, said Shakirullah Khan, a senior police officer in
Authorities have previously made scattered arrests for polio
refusals, but such a widespread crackdown is rare.
“This is the first time such drastic action was taken,” Shah
said. “This shows the determination of the government to eradicate polio.”
Pakistan is one of three countries, along with Afghanistan
and Nigeria, where polio is endemic, and the country last year accounted for
the vast majority of reported cases.
The disease has been common since the Taliban banned
vaccinations and attacked medical workers. Some Pakistanis are suspicious about
vaccinations, fearing they will sterilise their children.
In January, officials targeted around 35 million children in
a nationwide campaign, while smaller vaccination drives are held more
frequently. Officials have also implemented new security strategies to help
* “In order to eliminate VAPP from the United States, ACIP recommended in 2000 that IPV be used exclusively in the United States. The last case of VAPP acquired in the United States was reported in 1999. In 2005, an unvaccinated U.S. resident was infected with polio vaccine virus in Costa Rica and subsequently developed VAPP. A second case of VAPP from vaccine-derived poliovirus was reported in 2009. Also in 2005, several asymptomatic infections with a vaccine-derived poliovirus were detected in unvaccinated children in Minnesota. The source of the vaccine virus has not been determined, but it appeared to have been circulating among humans for at least 2 years based on genetic changes in the virus.“
Meanwhile, it has been suggested that concomitant with India’s successful polio eradication program, there was a huge uptick in non-polio flaccid paralysis cases. Whether this has any relationship to the vaccinations given (some vaccines have increased the disease they were meant to prevent, or caused severe neurological syndromes like polio (Guillain Barre syndrome, for example)) has not been investigated, according to two Indian physician academics.