Ukraine, Mali Polio Outbreaks ‘Timely Reminder’ To Maintain High Vaccination Rates Worldwide

The Conversation: New polio cases in Ukraine and Mali don’t mean the vaccine is failing
Michael Toole, professor of international health at the Burnet Institute

“The World Health Organization recently reported two cases of polio in Ukraine and one case in a Guinean child in Mali. All three cases were identified as ‘vaccine-derived,’ a mutant form of the original, ‘wild’ poliovirus. … The recent outbreaks are a setback for a year that has otherwise produced some major achievements in polio reduction. … The outbreaks in the Ukraine and Mali are a timely reminder that all countries in the world need to maintain high polio immunization rates. In an era when people travel with their children to all corners of the world, both the wild virus and the vaccine-virus can readily be imported and can infect and paralyze those children who are not protected…” (9/10).

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