How a Ban on Polio Vaccination in Parts of Pakistan Puts the Entire World at Risk

The Pakistani Taliban has banned vaccination campaigns in the country's north, delaying the goal of global eradication of polio and putting the world's children at risk

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Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Usman, 7 months, receives polio-vaccination drops at the Merlin clinic at a UNHCR camp for internally displaced people on July 13, 2012, in Jalozai, Pakistan

When thousands of public-health workers fan out across Pakistan today in the first day of a three-day campaign to vaccinate the country’s children against polio, an estimated 250,000 won’t be receiving the potentially lifesaving dose, the social-affairs secretary for Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Aftab Akbar Durrani, told VOA’s Urdu Service yesterday. Last month, militant leaders in two of the most lawless districts of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) declared that the vaccination teams would not be allowed to conduct their campaign, declaring that the locally run program was merely a ruse to allow American spies to penetrate the region. “In the garb of these vaccination campaigns, the U.S. and its allies are running their spying networks in FATA, which has brought death and destruction on them in the form of drone strikes,” wrote Mullah Nazir, one of South Waziristan’s major militant commanders, in a pamphlet that was widely distributed on June 25. His screed echoed that of a commander in North Waziristan, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, whose own pamphlet from a week earlier was even more direct: “We don’t want benefits from well-wishers who spend billions to save children from polio, which can affect one or two out of hundreds of thousands, while on the other hand the same well-wisher (America) with the help of its slave (Pakistan’s government) kills hundreds of innocent tribesmen including old women and children by unleashing numerous drone attacks.” The ban on vaccinations, he continued, would not be lifted until the drone strikes stop.

Both Nazir and Bahadur reiterated to TIME through a special correspondent in Peshawar yesterday that they would not reconsider the ban on vaccination teams, citing the ongoing drone campaign in the country’s tribal regions.

(MORE: The Taliban Halts Polio Vaccines — and Pakistan’s Kids Will Pay)

As my colleague Jeffrey Kluger wrote in the wake of the first pamphlet,

Using children as medical poker chips is indefensible under any circumstances, but the Pakistanis do have other reasons to be suspicious of Westerners bearing vaccines. In the months leading up to [Osama] bin Laden’s killing in May 2011, a local doctor who was also working for the CIA ran a hepatitis-vaccination campaign in and around Abbottabad, where bin Laden was holed up. The real purpose was to try to obtain DNA samples that would confirm bin Laden or his family members were indeed in residence. That, surely, figured in the Taliban’s decision.

But the militant’s math — “one or two out of hundreds of thousands” — demonstrates an egregious misunderstanding of the sinister swath that polio can cut through a population of healthy, active kids, according to Kluger:

For every clinical case of polio, there are 200 subclinical ones that can present themselves merely as a bad summer cold; but that’s 200 active carriers who can and do spread the wild virus. Even people who are infected with what will turn out to be a crippling strain of the disease do not know they’re sick for a week or more, as the virus makes the long journey from the throat to the gut to the bloodstream — multiplying explosively all the way — and finally to the anterior horns of the spinal cord and the medulla oblongata of the brain, where it wipes out the cells that signal the muscles, paralyzing them forever.

(MORE: Polio’s Back. Why Now?)

The vaccination campaigns take place every six weeks or so; each child under the age of 5 requires three doses to ensure that he or she is truly immune. So not only will the militants’ ban leave the very young vulnerable, it will also negate the effects of previous vaccination campaigns. That too will have long-term consequences, not just for the children but for the worldwide campaign to eradicate polio for good, according to Kluger:

Until very recently, polio appeared to be at the very brink of eradication — which would make it only the second disease ever to be wiped out in the wild, following smallpox, which was finally vaccinated out of existence in 1977. As recently as 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio worldwide, distributed across 125 countries. Thanks to an aggressive, 24-year eradication campaign headed by UNICEF, WHO, the CDC and Rotary International, however, there were only 650 cases worldwide last year and only 73 so far this year — confined to just three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Afghanistan’s 10 cases this year have occurred in the country’s south, along the border with Pakistan, where ongoing fighting has prevented vaccination teams from accessing the children. Pakistan’s 22 cases, however, have occurred in all four of the country’s provinces, a worrying sign of the disease’s spread. Nigeria, with 52 cases of paralysis this year, will still be the most difficult country to tackle, though numbers have plummeted over the past four years. (There have been 11 new cases in Nigeria in the three weeks since Kluger wrote his story, which explains the discrepancy.)

Still, with so few cases worldwide, the prospect of global eradication is tantalizingly close. The longer the Pakistani militants’ ban on vaccination goes on, the more difficult it will be to reach that goal. They might think they are making a point, instead they are holding the lives of Pakistan’s, and the world’s, children hostage. When challenged on that point, both Nazir and Bahadur argued that they were looking out for the long-term good of their people. It’s hard to see how.

MORE: Bill Gates: ‘We’re Making Progress’ at Eradicating Polio

163 comments
jgunther959
jgunther959

Police Burst into School in Kerachi and Force Vaccinate Little 4 Year Old's at Gunpoint!! 

 A group of small children lined up in a colourful room of a private school on Wednesday morning and waited for a burqa-clad woman to force red polio drops down their throats. This was part of the three-day anti-polio campaign, which ended on a bitter note as the administrative staff of private schools around the city complained about being harassed and subjected to aggressive behaviour.


Private schools were asked to cooperate with the government teams administering polio vaccinations to students under the age of five years or go to jail. “We were harassed by the polio teams and were forced to let them administer drops to our students,” said the principal of AMI School’s nursery branch, Nasira Faiz. “We are not the parents of these students. We cannot give permission to these teams to administer polio drops.”

“Our schools are located in safe areas. How can people barge in with guns? There was no condition in the notice that if we don’t attend, we would be arrested,” said Rabea Minai, a teacher. “We are against this aggressive attitude.”

According to the deputy commissioner, under section 186 of the Pakistan Penal Code, they have the right to take the action and arrest those who disobeyed government orders.

“Private schools say that they can’t let the children get vaccinated without the parents’ consent,” he said. “We don’t need the permission. It is the basic human right of every child under the age of five to get vaccinated.”

BSCIProf
BSCIProf

@hubb311 polio is a disease few Americans think about. It is still present in many parts of the world.@BSCIProf

apptechnz
apptechnz

If any part of the Taliban's claim that  “In the garb of these vaccination campaigns, the U.S. and its allies are running their spying networks in FATA,..." then "The West" is to blame for the resultant deaths from Polio. There is, alas, too much past history of "aid" personnel not being able to get their priorities correct enough. There needs to be greater awareness than has been demonstrated to date that acting as "double agents" (working for both humanity AND the CIA) is not something that a dedicated aid worker can choose to do. 
             Russell McMahon

nasalcrooner
nasalcrooner

@Verbal_SeduXion no movie is worth stressing over. Let it be :) @bongopondit

ErwinAlber
ErwinAlber like.author.displayName 1 Like

I wish the whole world would refuse vaccinations because I have arrived at the inevitable conclusion that vaccination is an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention by means of junk science. In my opinion, the sooner the whole vaccine industry is shut down for good, the better.  

David Gaines
David Gaines like.author.displayName 1 Like

Imagine that. Instead of the threat of drones delivering instant death, they’re going to take their chances with a long-term life debilitating disease by sacrificing the one safety net that is at their disposal, but they’re refusing because polio-free Osama bin Laden, well, he didn’t even partake in the vaccinations set up to find him.

Maigari
Maigari

It is funny how the writer failed to notice the US's cynical use of the vaccine to trace and kill Osam bn Laden. Many argued  then that it was wrong for the CIA to have used a global programme as cover for their operations and this is exactly the consequence. Now it will take considerable time and effort to reconvince the doubters that there was really no ulterior motive to the Polio Eradication Programme, not just in Pakistan but across many nation that are atill struggling to get their people to accept the programme.

Bashy Quraishy
Bashy Quraishy

"The longer the

Pakistani militants’ ban on vaccination goes on, the more difficult it will be

to reach the goal of total eradication of polio".

Even if I

do not expect any sensible or neutral coverage of Pakistani affairs from

American journalists, I wonder, why ARYN BAKER forgot to mention

that Taliban have never took such a stand before Dr. Afridi affair where CIA employed Pakistanis to gather intellegence.

No doubt that polio vaccination is in the self interest of those whose

children are effected but can you blame them for not trusting eradication

efforts when CIA uses dirty tricks to gather information in that area under the

guise of helping.

The fact is that no one in the world today believes what USA says and

does. As long as this situation continues, Taliban will also use it to push

their own agenda.

docbets
docbets

Don't see how anyone is at risk who was vaccinated.  The whole world at risk?  Come on.  If so, then the vaccines weren't worth much.

Amitavo Mitra
Amitavo Mitra

taliban is under ISI control. this is just another way of ISI playing the game with US and trying to pressure it to reduce/stop the drone attacks which is basically decimating the ISI/pakistan proxy forces which fights against US in afganistan and in kashmir against india.

plus, the northwest frontier areas are effectively out of pakistan jurisdiction/control, and always have been. pakistan could be least bothered about polio in areas and people who are hostile to the establishment.

Michael_Greenwald
Michael_Greenwald

Dear Undecider, There are people in the world such as you who believe the entire medical establishment have a secrete agenda to screw everyone up and make them sick(er). To just examine that idea for  moment tells everyone what a nut-case you are.  

The last one like you I met did not believe in medicine and kept telling me that disease only made you stronger.  When he started hurting he took herbal cures instad of getting an exam. He kept on  telling me about the evils of medicine until I had him right on the table, removing his (burst) appendix.  After two weeks of gastric lavage we had him up on his feet but of course he could not pay for the operation--he had no medical insurance.

Undecider
Undecider like.author.displayName 1 Like

There are also people in this world, many more, who have been victims of medical care.  Let's reference "cancer survivors."  When you look at those scenarios, they are not "cancer survivors," they are "cancer treatment survivors."  When you analyze the "medical INDUSTRY," you'll find that they are largely driven by what makes money.  Instead of telling a person to correct their diet and ensure they are getting all proper nutrients, they'd prefer to recommend surgery or organ removal.  This then places higher strain the body which causes more premature failures.

You are correct in that herbal medicine is not a cure all.  If I get shot with a gun or hit by a car, no amount of vitamin C is going to help me.  However, cancer cures, preventions and treatments don't have to be restricted to what the Big Pharmaceuticals say.  While they do try to monopolize all arguments and decisions, there are many alternative avenues.  On the main point of vaccinations, if you allow people a "proper" education on health topics with an open and honest discussion, they can best choose for themselves versus have a medical/government establishment dictate to them or force upon them particular treatments.

When you study the modern day application of vaccines, you'll find that since at least the 1960's their purpose has been of weaponization through bacteriological and chemical warfare through the tip of a needle.  You may hold the Salk interests in high esteem but in today's terms, no of these companies will get far without government funding and that is only allowed if they take part in the eugenics movement.  Thus this makes all of them untrustworthy.

Don't fool yourself.  I can tell your a person that cares about society but you are a sheep among wolves.  You don't not quite realize just who you are supporting.  Look at all these "philanthropic" organizations around the world pledging to help with sickness and hunger.  They say that with their left hand.  On their right they are involved with schemes and plans to reduction population by upwards to and over 90%.  You can't help people on one hand and discuss eradicating them on the other.  This is not conjecture or hidden conspiracy theory.  This is all out in the open and they [rightly so] figure that you will be reading the headline news and not their organizational publications.  I don't read the news from the mainstream media (that they own).  I read United Nations, Club of Rome, Rockefeller Foundation, Council on Foreign Relations, etc publications.  I read it in their own words about how they want to sterilize the world.

The only way they can touch us all is through a forced medical program.  This is their "health care" system.  If you consider yourself to be wise, knowledgeable and intelligent, you'll do the digging I have done.  If you truly want to help people, you won't attempt to corner them and force them onto a regime that was designed to (on record) 'reduce fertility' and 'increase sterility.'  You are witnessing what is called a 'false flag' attack with 'problem, reaction, solution.'  Here is the pattern: They use vaccines to spread a virus.  The virus is propagated in the community.  The news then states in a worried manner that there is some form of an outbreak.  This is designed, through media propaganda and paranoia, to cause havoc and drive people towards the clinic for further vaccinations.  The virus is then spread further. This is what they have done with H1N1, HPV, MMR, whooping cough and others.  Even HIV/AIDs has been deliberately spread through vaccinations and medications.  All that added up means one thing.  You can't trust them when they come to your town or village promising to "cure" all that ills you.

If you want a "firewall" between you and those who would be malicious, there needs to be "health freedom."  Allow people freedom to choose their source of medicine and freedom to choose their doctor.  Don't force people through threat of sanctions or other punishment if they desire alternative means of health and wellness.  The people now running the show ARE NOT concerned with your health.  They are of the same cloth that told the Jews to get into the "shower rooms."  This time around, they try to corral the public with vaccinations.  Do your due diligence of research.  Look at where the companies from NAZI Germany ended up.  They are the same ones creating all the vaccines today.  The financiers are the same, as well.  The history is not hidden and it's out there in the open.  You'll have to go to it though.  These scum are not going to give it to you.

The biggest and easiest target is Bill Gates.  Study his parents, what they were up to and what the organizations and corporations were up to.  You'll learn a lot.  Then take a second and third look at him today. You'll be surprised.  There are others.  Many others.

The CDC, WHO and others ARE NOT the source of truth.  They are sophisticated liars who use fabricated, manipulated and concocted information to fool the public.  Don't be a victim.  Educate yourself and make the proper choice.  There are times when a vaccine may be necessary but most often, less or non-toxic alternatives can be found.  Sanitation and good hygiene and resolve 90+% of issues.

Good luck in your readings.  I'm not trying to argue with you but show the readers here there is alternative information out there.

Michael_Greenwald
Michael_Greenwald

"An editorial in the British Medical Journal puts forth evidence that a now-discredited study linking autism and common childhood vaccines relied on falsified evidence to make its central claim.

"Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare," the editors of the journal wrote.

Why would Dr. Andrew Wakefield make up findings to prove that getting vaccines to help prevent diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella can cause higher rates of autism? According to the journal's editors, the reason was simple: money.

Wakefield is alleged to have received more than $674,000 from lawyers hoping to sue vaccine manufacturers, and the investigation into his work uncovered evidence that five of the 12 patients he studied had actually shown symptoms of autism before receiving the MMR vaccination, while three of the children turned out to have never actually suffered from the condition, though his study claimed otherwise.

"It's one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors," Fiona Godlee, BMJ's editor-in-chief, said in an interview with CNN. "But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data."

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01...

Undecider
Undecider like.author.displayName 1 Like

Did he make up findings?  Get to the bottom of the story.  He's been vindicated.  The British Medical Journal (such a prestigious sounding name.. let's get on our knees and worship them) was proven false.  You won't find yourself quoting that organization much after see the fraud they perpetrated to keep their industry profiting.

Spend some time researching how GSK and Merck were fined several billion (they made a lot more) in their recent scams.  Many injured while making billions.  You can comment on them can't you?  It's okay to go after Big Pharma, while you still have a 1st Amendment.

Xira
Xira

If you don't want them banned, stop using them to kill their locals.

Undecider
Undecider like.author.displayName 1 Like

The claim against Dr. Andrew Wakefield was fraudulent.  He has been since vindicated in his research.  Most people go off of the headlines and don't do diligent research.  There are many people on this thread who cite the claim against Dr. Wakefield and his correlations of vaccines and autism while not knowing the final outcome.  His case has been proven not false.

Undecider
Undecider like.author.displayName 1 Like

If the vaccinated are so worried about the unvaccinated, the vaccinated should be the ones wearing the useless masks.  After all, if a person is vaccinated, they would have nothing to fear from the unvaccinated.  Since the globalist scumbags who perch themselves above society want most of us dead, it should serve their interests for people to avoid vaccines.  After all, since the unvaccinated are a threat, they would lead to a mass die off.  Well, since they know the unvaccinated are not a threat, they know they have to force the virus into the community and create what's called a "false flag event."  The vaccine is the threat.  The vaccine is the carrier for the virus.  It's how they spread the virus to the world.

Early on, vaccines may have had a degree of benefit.  These days, it's a deliberately weaponized program.  Entire populations placed at risk.  Also, where is the freedom?  Can't a group of people quarantine themselves against a tainted group and avoid the jab?  No.  The government will force it's way in to deliver the shot.  What legal protections to people have against the pharmaceutical industry?  Why is just about everything skewed against the recipient?  Why is it that the pharmaceutical industries are more concerned about profits versus safety?

In the end, the individual should be able to make the decision, after proper literature has been provided.  Proper literature DOES NOT equal some reproduced government literature saying the vaccines are like candy.  The recipient should be made fully aware of all the benefits and dangers.  This is not the case, however.  There are dubious and nefarious efforts by government to practically force or coerce onto populations substances which are not fully or ethically tested.

In short, these vaccines are tantamount to biological and chemical weapons.  When the government/big pharma don't get their way, they will then resort to aerial spraying of populations.  What kind of crap is that?  This is not vaccination.  It's population eradication.  Who is the real threat?  Think about it.  Just about ALL of the big name pharmaceutical corporations are directly linked to the same people who funded and supplied the NAZI missions.  Times haven't changed.  Just the uniforms and decor.

Do you research.  Don't stop at the CDC.  Keep going.  Study the frauds and atrocities.

Undecider
Undecider

Do your homework on the Jonas Salk and the polio vaccine.  It's not all that they say it is.  The virus was actually causing a rise in paralysis.  The same occurs today.  Pakistan is wise to hold these vaccines back:

"India: Paralysis cases soar after oral polio vaccine introduced"

http://www.google.com/search?q...

Michael_Greenwald
Michael_Greenwald

I had the honor of being the 10th person in the world to get the Salk vaccine, administered by Dr. Salk to me and his own children at the University of Pittsburgh.  God knows how many millions of lives it has saved. Obviously you know nothing about this subject, since the Salk vaccine was generally discontinued many decades ago in favor of the oral vaccine.  It's use today is rare. Polio as a result of vaccination is reported by WHO as 1 in 750,000.  The dedicated efforts of fools like you are in direct opposition to what benefits the world.

Undecider
Undecider like.author.displayName 1 Like

Study eugenics.  That's all I have to say.  You'll learn a lot.

morningdove
morningdove like.author.displayName 1 Like

This article is not logical. If the children don't receive the vaccination how is that affecting children who do receive the vaccination. How do unvaccinated children harm vaccinated children? Please explain.

Undecider
Undecider

"India: Paralysis cases soar after oral polio vaccine introduced"

http://www.google.com/search?q...

Michael_Greenwald
Michael_Greenwald

You are a complete fool and also like Dr. Wakefield a liar.  There has been only one batch of "bad" polio vaccine which occured in the late 1950's at the beginning of the first production.  Since then BILLIONS of people have been inoculated and golly, you never hear abut an outbreak--except of course from lunatics like you.

Every mass inoculation results in 1-2 people out of several million getting a reaction or becoming ill but the vaccine crushes the ability of the disease to spread and cause epidemics.  It  is always a source of amazement to me that people like you exist. If you actually ever saw someone die from measles or have to spend their lives in an iron lung maybe you would see the light.

Michael_Greenwald
Michael_Greenwald

Polio has in effect become a Moslem disease.  They just cannot forget that the vaccine was developed by two Jewish doctors, although of course many medical benefits have been developed by Jewish physicians. 

This year, of the 780 reported cases of polio in the world the only non-Moslem state reporting infection was India with 42. Most of those occurred among Moslems in northern India, who engaged in mass resistance to immunization.

  

In 2003, Two Islamic groups in Nigeria urged Muslims to resist the government’s immunization program.  They said they found evidence the  vaccine was intended to sterilize children and control population.  The immunization program resumed only after the vaccine, which had been manufactured in the US was manufactured in Indonesia. 

In Pakistan, health workers are denied access to children amid threats by Taliban-backed clerics, who tell people the vaccine is un-Islamic, and those that die of polio are considered martyrs.

In Afghanistan I think the message is extremely clear: unless the Taliban get their way the entire world will be damaged.

Fear and resistance to immunization programs is hardly new.  But in most countries educated people--the clerics, the politicians, the courts stand up to this nonsense--which is why most developed countries are polio free.  Now it is time for the educated Moslems of the world to demonstrate their determination to help rid humanity of this terrible disease-by denouncing the their religious bigots and ignoramuses.  We can all win if we work together.

Fatesrider
Fatesrider

Considering the idiocy of parents who refuse to vaccinate their own children here in the U.S. based on a discredited British "study" involving a whopping 12 children which intimated that vaccinations caused Autism, I don't see how Pakistanis refusing to vaccinate against polio is going to affect the rest of the world any more than these idiots in our and other countries are already doing.

Michael_Greenwald
Michael_Greenwald

You are so very wrong.  Polio is on the brink of extinction and  like smallpox with just a bit more global cooperation we can wipe out this disease.  But these terrorists want to make it clear that they are willing to hold the health of the entire world hostage unless they get their way.

Undecider
Undecider like.author.displayName 1 Like

What you are referring to was proven false.  Look it up.  Dr. Wakefield was vindicated in his findings.  That "discredited" study was a scam perpetrated by the British media and the pharmaceutical industry.  You're a victim of the mainstream media.  Go back and re-research this.   There is a correlation between autism and vaccinations.  Do your homework before making such statements.

Michael_Greenwald
Michael_Greenwald

Vaccination has been the single greatest preventer of disease in the world and saved millions of lives.  The "doctor" who did this "study" to which you refer lost his medical license in the UK.

Dr. Wakefield is known for his fraudulent 1998 research paper in support of the now-discredited claim that there is a link between the administration of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and the appearance of autism and bowel disease.Four years after the publication of the paper, other researchers' results had still failed to reproduce Wakefield's findings. A 2004 investigation by Sunday Times reporter Brian Deer identified undisclosed financial conflicts of interest on Wakefield's part.

Wakefield's study and public recommendations against the use of the combined MMR vaccine were linked to a steep decline in vaccination rates in the United Kingdom and a corresponding rise in measlescases, resulting in serious illness and fatalities

  It  is people like you who are in fact the disease, because you persistently refuse to vaccinate your kids, keeping the disease reservoir alive. I usually try to be polite in my eLetters but yours is a direct attack against humanity.