By: Lisa Schlein
Source: VOA News
WHO spokesman Tariq Jasarevic said the campaign aims to vaccinate 328,000 children in Deir Ezzor and 120,000 children in Raqqa, when a planned vaccination campaign in that governorate gets under way.
“Hopefully, we will be able to stop this outbreak because even though the vaccine-derived polio is in a way less virulent than the wild polio, it is paralyzing children and it also reflects that there is a low level of immunization,” he said.
WHO reports 355 vaccination teams from local non-governmental organizations are immunizing children at fixed sites or going door to door to make sure no child is missed. Jasarevic said the community acceptance is high.
He said two immunization rounds are planned for Deir Ezzor, although no date for the second round has been set. He said polio vaccines for two rounds have been shipped to Qamishli, in preparation for the planned campaign in Raqqa; however, the raging battle to retake Raqqa — ISIS’s de facto capital — from the militants puts the starting date of the polio immunization campaign in the outskirts of the city in question.