National polio vaccine campaign reaches total of 170,000 so far

Ministry criticizes "media sensationalism" of effects from vaccine on children with weak immune systems.

August 20, 2013 17:06
1 minute read.
A child receives polio vaccination drops in Managua April 15, 2013.

polio vaccine illustrative 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Some 170,000 children around the country out of a total of one million have already received an oral polio vaccine in a campaign due to proceed over the next three months. The Health Ministry announced on Tuesday that 35,000 had received two drops of OPV that day. This brought the total of the national campaign to 74,000 children during the past three days, in addition to the more urgent vaccination effort, now in its third week, being held in the south of the country, where the wild polio virus was found in sewage and in a few dozen carriers.

No one has taken sick with the paralytic disease since the virus was first detected in sewage treatment plants in February.

The ministry criticized sensational headlines in some of the news media on Monday and Tuesday that claimed “thousands” of children with weak immune systems due to chronic diseases ranging from cancer to AIDS would be prohibited from going to school until six weeks after the end of the three-month vaccination campaign.

The ministry said that only a few hundred children who had recently undergone a bone marrow transplant, suffered from active leukemia or had a shortage of gamma globulin in their blood should not go to school – which they are not able to attend regularly because of their situation – until that date because their severely compromised immune systems could put them at risk from the attenuated virus in the oral vaccine.

The ministry declared that children who had received at least three injected killedpolio virus vaccinations, which protected them from the paralytic disease, could go to school when classes opened. In addition, medical staffers with weak immune systems could also go to work.

All groups should observe basic rules of hygiene, including washing hands with soap and water after visiting the toilet or being in contact with dirty diapers, as well as before preparing and eating meals.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night


Cookie Settings