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False Polio Vaccine Rumors Spread Panic In Pakistan, Send 25K Children To Hospital

Agence France-Presse: Polio vaccine fears spread panic in Pakistan
“More than 25,000 children were rushed to hospitals in northwest Pakistan after rumors spread that some had suffered reactions to a polio vaccine, officials said Tuesday…” (4/23).

The Telegraph: 25,000 children in Pakistan rushed to hospital after spread of false polio vaccine rumors
“…The scare, which travelled widely online, followed inaccurate reports that students attending a private school in a village near Peshawar fell sick after receiving their polio drops. Many residents of the region have long been suspicious of the vaccine with local militants and extremists claiming it is a Western conspiracy to harm or sterilize children…” (Wallen, 4/23).

VOA News: Scaremongering Video Undermines Anti-Polio Drive in Pakistan
“Police in northwestern Pakistan have detained a man and are hunting down his suspected associates for spreading unfounded rumors through fake social media videos that a polio vaccine led to fainting and vomiting. The detainee, Nazar Muhammad, who teaches at a private school near the Peshawar city, is seen in the scaremongering Twitter videos instructing his students to faint and pretend to be sick from the oral polio vaccine (OPV)…” (Gul, 4/23).