Experts: Restore oral polio vaccine to children’s routine

It was discontinued nine years ago because the wild polio virus was no longer considered a threat.

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October 6, 2013 04:43
1 minute read.
Vaccination against polio

Vaccination against polio. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Two committees of experts on Friday advised the Health Ministry to restore the oral polio vaccine to the routine vaccination schedule of children.

It was discontinued nine years ago because the wild polio virus was no longer considered a threat.

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The ministry said the decision would go to Health Minister Yael German and senior ministry executives this week for them to make a final decision.

Members of the polio and vaccination committees said that it was important that the attenuated virus be administered to eliminate wild polio virus from the environment, in addition to the killed-virus Injected Polio Vaccine that has been given to children for generations and wiped out the virus from the blood stream of those who received the injection.

More than 850,000 of the 1.3 million children up to the age of 10 who had not received oral polio vaccine since it was discontinued have received the two-drop oral vaccine in the past two months, and the campaign is due to end soon. The entrance of the wild polio virus and its spread inside Israel and the country’s being located in an area where polio virus is endemic mandated the change, the experts said.

No Israeli has contracted the paralytic disease in 25 years.

The ministry will announce its decision soon.

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