Afghanistan Wants to Vaccinate 7 Million Children Against Polio

Afghanistan launched a large-scale polio vaccination campaign on Monday. The intention is to vaccinate 7 million children against the virus in four days, the Ministry of Health of the Taliban regime has announced.

Poliomyelitis is a severe infectious disease that can lead to paralysis and death. In addition, wild-type poliovirus (WPV) was detected twice in Afghanistan in October, according to the World Health Organization WHO.

The vaccination campaign against the virus will occur in 26 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

Carrying out large-scale vaccination campaigns is often difficult in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan. That’s because of conspiracy theories. For example, it is falsely claimed that the polio vaccine leads to infertility or that the vaccinators are used as spies. In addition, extremists have already attacked the health workers who come to inject the vaccine several times.

Before seizing power last August, the Taliban banned door-to-door vaccinations in the controlled areas. But the United Nations has successfully negotiated with the Taliban to restart the vaccination program.

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