Polio vaccine: Is it really as safe as it is claimed to be?

Published: November 10, 2014

Is the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), which is administered to millions of children in the developing world, really safe? PHOTO: AFP

Reporting on polio vaccination has secured a regular slot in major media outlets. The reporting is mostly always supportive of the vaccination campaign commonly called “polio eradication”. But is the Oral Polio Vaccine( OPV), or Sabin vaccine (named after Albert Sabin), which is administered to millions of children in the developing world, really safe? Does it have no harmful effect on human health a claimed by some doctor in a recent story?

The short answer is: no, it’s not completely safe. Not only can it cause permanent disability in some children, it actually has caused epidemics of paralysis in at least two countries – Nigeria and India. It’s been officially admitted and reported in media many a time, though the media in Pakistan tends not to talk about it or its history beyond the version endorsed by the authorities.

The most well-known (or infamous, for that matter) epidemic of the paralysis caused by the OPV happened in Nigeria in the period ranging July 2005 to June 2010. An outbreak of vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) caused 315 reported cases of type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2). The incident followed the use of OPV to immunise children in Nigeria where polio caused by wild poliovirus has remained endemic.

The Nigeria outbreak caused by the vaccine led Steven Wassilak of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to write a research paper on such cases. His paper titled ‘Outbreak of Type 2 Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus in Nigeria: Emergence and Widespread Circulation in an Under-immunised Population’ was published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases (2011)’. The paper noted that vaccine-caused paralytic polio is clinically indistinguishable from that caused by the wild polioviruses.

In India, which was been declared free of polio in 2013, a notable rise in cases of vaccine-induced paralysis has been reported over the past three years. Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) is one of the types of permanent paralysis, and is considered as a sign of acute or debilitating polio. The incidence of AFP reportedly soared in India over the period of 1996 to 2011 with 60,000 new cases reported in 2011. Various sources have placed the number of vaccine-associated AFP cases in India variedly, but hardly anyone reported less than 45,000 cases in 2012.

The risk of paralysis and serious harm associated with OPV was indeed the reason that led most of Europe, particularity Western Europe, as well as the United States to “discontinue” the use of OPV for immunisation. The word “discontinue” is of course a euphemism for “banned” so as to linguistically benefit the OPV which is the foundation of international health projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. As reported in a 2004 paper published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), all cases of polio reported in the US since 1979 were cases of Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis (VAPP). That is why the vaccination policy was changed to exclusive use of inactivated vaccine for polio, called Inactive Polio Vaccine (IPV) in short, which is administered as an injection, and is significantly more expensive than OPV.

Is it the ignorance regarding both the disease and the science of the medicine that worries critical thinkers? Yes, but more so it is the lack of freedom of questioning in a country that has effectively given itself to a form of slavery by so-called non-profit international organisations that earn millions from vaccination campaigns. The recent imposition of travel restrictions on Pakistanis as “recommended” by the World Health Organisation (WHO) are more than proof of such slavery.

Worse though is the one-sided media reporting that uses language as a tool to shape voice of dissent as “propaganda” by running headlines with terms like “anti-polio” campaigns when the questions raised are in fact directed at the safety of the vaccine claimed to be effective against polio. It’s true that oral polio vaccine’s risk of causing permanent disability is reported in only a handful of cases. Most children vaccinated with it don’t show any immediate adverse effects. However, the same holds for wild poliovirus. Less than one percent of wild poliovirus cases show any symptoms of the disease and of those permanent disability is still rare. The important question is: are parents made aware of the risks significantly early to let them make an informed decision on vaccinating their child?

Karim Khan

Karim Khan

A freelance writer, blogger, and editor, based in Peshawar. He, more commonly, writes under his pen name Ernest Dempsey

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Citizen

    This is eye opener . Just vaccinated my son with OPV and now totally in shock . May Allah keep all children in safety. This world is indeed cruel .Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    polio vaccines are absolutely safe. Apart from the fact that it was invented by Jonas Salk, an American Jew, there is not much problem. India eliminated Polio through this vaccine.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    E.T Please I beg of you(on knees if you want) to post this in full. This blog needs to be answered here. Please do not edit my comment. (I Thank you , in advance)
    I try to start my comments with a little praise for a blog. The writer has written for us and we should appreciate his/her efforts. But this blog is one of the most imbecilic, ignorant, witless, ludicrous, moronic and borderline deranged blog that I have EVER had the visual and intellectual displeasure of reading. You have said that that Polio vaccine causes polio instead of curing it.Keeping in view this deleterious position of yours without going too much into you other ridiculous and irrational claims that media is “against” your side, allow me to reiterate.
    You say that vaccine causes polio. This is wrong. 100% wrong. You should either research your topic or ask an adult before posting. vaccine-derived polio virus is caused when someones body excretes polio virus vaccine and the vaccine has MUTATED while inside him, and then his FECAL matter is ingested by someone else WHO HAS NEVER BEEN IMMUNIZED. This requires poor sanitation and it occurs in almost 1 case out of 530,000. So how do you attach this with vaccine causing polio? IF the person who ingests the fecal matter has been immunized before there is high chance he is NOT be harmed.
    Now we come to your sources. EACH and EVERY source that you have used is biased, wrong, lacks credibility, does not show any scientific study to prove itself and is almost laughable.
    For instance your source for Nigeria outbreak http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/203/7/898.full shows that you have misrepresented the facts. The article says that Vaccine Derived Polio spread “because of low coverage achieved in routine immunization program”. So they are saying that people who DID NOT get immunized in childhood got the polio virus. So you deliberately lied and mislead us here.
    Next your source of Polio caused in India http://nsnbc.me/2013/05/08/bill-gates-polio-vaccine-program-caused-47500-cases-of-paralysis-death/ is not even a real research authority. Did you even read what they said? They claim here http://www.thinktwice.com/Polio.pdf that Polio Vaccine also causes Meningitis, Brain Tumors, Leukemia, bone cancer, Mad cow disease and AIDS. This is your ridiculous and laughable source. You want us to believe this?

    Let me now be blunt. In last ten years more than 500 MILLION Children were immunized against POLIO in west . And ALL of them are healthy and safe. But now you and your ilk are trying to keep this vial of life away from children of Pakistan. Do you have no heart? Have you lost all humanity?Recommend

  • Focus

    nothing to worry about…it is safe….Recommend

  • Umair

    So, the Research paper published in renowned journal is of no value to you? Also, the FACT that western counties banned Oral vaccine is also of no value to you.

    Do not be become a slave of the majority opinion. Questioning norms is the way human race moves forward.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    At the end of the day, the benefits override the risks. Recommend

  • Waqar

    Has anyone actually bothered to check the facts and links the writer has presented? If the vaccine was really harmful the thousands of doctors in pakistan would not be be advocating its use.Recommend

  • Me

    What a totally irresponsible article. Yes polio vaccines may have risks but right now it is very important that we try everything we can to eliminate polio and that starts with giving polio vaccines.Recommend

  • [email protected]

    I think it’s unfair of the writer to say that the change in the domestic vaccination programs in the West from OPV to IPV to avoid isolated cases of VAPP is because OPV is dangerous or unsuitable. Fact is, the West had already eliminated polio and wanted to eliminate the remaining cases of VAPP by switching to the more costly IPV mechanism. For large-scale immunization in the developing world, however, OPV remains the most cost-effective, quick, and efficient way of immunizing the millions of children who need to be protected from polio. Once polio in these countries is eradicated, and they have progressed sufficiently to afford IPV for all children, any isolated cases of VAPP can also be eliminated by switching the vaccine regimen.

    It is alarmist of the writer to call OPV dangerous, and quite disingenuous of him to say that the West is pushing OPV because it is the “foundation of international health projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year.” That’s really ungrateful and unkind.Recommend

  • [email protected]

    Why would the vaccine being invented by a Jewish person be a problem? That is extremely unfair.Recommend

  • Aludin

    it is good to ask questions but it is better to google it . According to
    Polio eradication org IPV is not recommended for countries where there is danger of its dissemination through feaces such as Pakistan. Hence its use is out of question in Pakistan.

    http://www.polioeradication.org/Polioandprevention/Thevaccines/Inactivatedpoliovaccine(IPV).aspxRecommend

  • QA

    Please dont spread rumors, its very safe and is preferred where polio is epidemic.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Please take a few minutes to educate yourself on polio vaccine and its history. The oral polio vaccine that we are talking about here is called “Sabin Vaccine.” It was developed by Albert Sabin. Salk Vaccine is the IPV (inactivated poliovirus vaccine) which is still used in the west (given by injection). But Sabin vaccine is literally banned as I pointed in the article.Recommend

  • Critical

    ur analogy is similar to saying that lets ban all automobiles because nearly a million die every year due to accidents…Recommend

  • siesmann

    Would you have your children not get the vaccine based on couple of papers?Has any medical society ever issued warnings of risk from vaccine?Have you ever heard of any medical professional leaving his children unvaccinated based on these papers?Leave the questioning to professionals?Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    This blog is so dangerously ludicrous, I literally cancelled a phone call to type an urgent comment here.

    Yes, vaccine-derived polio viruses (VDPVs) are a threat, but that risk of getting an infection from polio vaccine (class Sabin) is still lower than the risk of getting polio if you’re un-immunized in a polio-endemic region!

    Do you know that of the approximately 10 billion vaccination administered worldwide since 2000, only 758 cases of VDPVs have been reported (WHO stats)? That is a fair risk to take, considering that you’re making billions of others immune to the disease.

    This is what happens when we give scientists and non-scientists equal space in the media in the name of “balanced coverage”. The sensationalists end up obfuscating the issue, and hindering the goal vaccination workers and doctors like myself work so hard to achieve.

    I don’t normally complain about ET allowing space to bad blogs, but I’m ethically and professionally compelled to lodge a complaint on this one. I sincerely hope this comment goes through (remember, I sacrificed a phone call for this).Recommend

  • ak

    I would argue that most Pakistani’s–as I–have received their polio vaccines via oral drops. There is always a risk with any sort of drug intake: aspirin may cause internal bleeding, will you stop using that, too? The millions of lives that have been saved by the vaccine far outweigh the small number of cases with side effects. You, too, likely received the same oral vaccine drops and are alive and well due to the vaccine. Pakistan has too many issues already than to spend resources fighting anti-vaccinators.Recommend

  • ak

    “The risk for vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP) which occurred in one child out of every 2.4 million OPV doses distributed.” – USA CDC

    That is roughly 80 cases of the entire population of Pakistan (190 million). Some mullahs have more kids than that.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Your son is safe. As a doctor, you have my assurance.

    If you have queries and concerns, please see a medical professional, not an online blog.Recommend

  • Dr. Bilal Lakhnavi

    ET, don’t publish blogs which can add to the on going miseries of the nation. The writer is a young lad. He does not know the benefits of Polio Vaccination. He is just concerned with his blog getting published on ET. Writers like him do not care about what they write as long as it grabs attention. Please report responsibly. We read your paper, don’t let us down. Thank you!Recommend

  • TkAlam

    Polio “eradication” in India is very well exposed in the article “India’s ‘polio-free’ status a cruel joke published in the reputed Down to Earth magazine. It can be googled and read. The entire thing is a joke and an assault on Indian children.
    http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/indias-polio-free-status-cruel-jokeRecommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    the so called “research papers” have been misquoted by this blogger. read my above commentRecommend

  • Umair

    There is a difference between not getting a vaccine and not getting a vaccine that has clear evidence of being not fit for humans. How do you explain the “complete” removal of Oral Polio Vaccine from the western countries?Recommend

  • Umair

    By the way there are many medical professionals and societies that avoid all vaccine if they can.

    How about the time when Japan BANNED combined MMR vaccine? I am not saying ban Vaccines I am saying ban those that have evidence that they do more harm then good. Especially harm in the long run.

    And Pharma companies influence in stopping research on long term vaccine effects must be stopped. Science must be left to discover things and not influenced to stop or start research for JUST ONE REASON; to make more money.

    But I don’t advocate not getting any vaccine.Recommend

  • siesmann

    The article quoted is as full of errors,and misrepresentations as this one.Quoting the ramblings of a non-professional without adequate knowledge of medicine serves no purpose.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Thanks for responding. I’ll get into my debate mode now to
    answer the vaccine-promoters. Let’s start with you.

    Your first claim is self-contradictory and ridiculous. Vaccine-carrying virus can and does mutate inside the body and paralyze the child and it is also passable/spread by the vaccinated child. So you are admitting
    half of the fact. And even that half was admitted, it shows you believe that
    the vaccine is a source of contagion that can affect an “unimmunized” person.

    Your claim is self-defeating in that you say “un-immunized”
    people are at risk by the vaccine. If that was the case, no immunized child
    should ever be paralyzed by VDPV. But what is your proof that vaccinated
    children are not paralyzed by the polio virus – and remember it is the same
    virus, whether carried by a vaccine or existing in nature, it can cause polio
    in children whose immune system fails to curb it. In either case, your
    reasoning is invalid because the virus sis the same and allowing to spread via the vaccine is just multiplying the problem.

    You are repeating the same pseudoreason with Nigeria source.
    Since the author admits that the virus carried by the virus caused the polio – conveniently renamed as VAPP – his conclusion is self-contradictory. The reason? Because he is a CDC employee. He won’t go against vaccination and while his data shows and admits the risk of OPV, he has tried to counter that by throwing in a suggestion that would appease the authorities.

    There has been no contradiction of the report of 47K something cases of paralysis caused by OPV in India. So your refusal or accept the stats only shows your emotional defense and not reason or logic.

    Next, your “blunt” claim of “500 MILLION Children were immunized against POLIO in west. And ALL of them are healthy and safe.” lacks credibility or support. On what basis are you saying they are safe and ok? And by the same token, hundreds of millions of children remained unvaccinated and millions still remain unvaccinated in Pakistan and around the wolrd. But how many cases of polio actually were in the country. Just a few hundred? That is less than the no of vaccine-paralyzed children in India and Nigeria.

    So Mr. Maximus Decimus Meridius, whether you benefit personally
    from this vaccine business or are just passionate about the cause, denial is
    not a good excuse or strategy to hide from facts. You need a stronger shelter. I care about people, animals, this planet, this universe. But I am not sure what makes you a critic as hard to make sense of as your name here.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    First of all, sorry to have you miss your call. I am sure it
    was less urgent than your response or else you wouldn’t have jumped in here first. So let’s go over your comment.

    Claim 1: Worldwide since 2000, only 758 cases of VDPVs have
    been reported (WHO stats)?

    Response: WHO lies. It has no credibility when it comes to
    contagions and epidemics because it earns from vaccination business. Hs WHO officially negated or challenged the 47K VAPP cases in India reported in 2012 (as cited in my blog)?

    Claim 2: That is a fair risk to take, considering that you’re making billions of others immune to the disease.

    Response: There is no evidence that by administering the vaccine you are saving the children from the disease. That is scientifically impossible
    to prove. Because to prove it, you’ll need to show that if a child had not been vaccinated, he would definitely fall a prey to wild poliovirus. How do you show that? Billions actually have remained safe from polio without any vaccination over the centuries. In fact, when you introduce OPV-carried virus in a child’s body, you are doubling his/her chances to contract polio (renamed VAPP) because now he may be paralyzed by this virus you put in him while he could or could not have contracted a virus from natural source.

    I don’t want to point specifically to you or insult, but so-called professionals and doctors who earn from vaccination and work with government
    and NGOS earn from the “mission”. You admit here that VAPP IS caused by OPV. Do you tell this to parents well before administering a vaccine so that they can think and decide whether to go for it? After all, even if rare, you can never tell whether the child you are vaccinating has an immune system strong enough to stop VAPP from the virus in his body.

    After reading my comment, feel free to answer your next call first. I am going nowhere. And by the way, my next write-up will be abuot cholera in Paistan – the most guarded lie of WHO and Pakistan’s government. So make yourself a bit more shock-proof and have your cell phone handy.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    yes, if I were a guardian/parent, I would not let any vaccinator near my child because of the fake science behind vaccination. I personally have not been vaccinated and I know dozens of professionals here (medical professionals – docs and nurses) who not only refuse vaccination but have campaigned against it). Questioning is the work of critics, not self-interested professionals.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    yes, but only if you could scientifically prove that the vaccine does benefit the children.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    isolated cases of VAPP? Well polio itself has been isolated worldwide. Less than one percent of those contracting wild poliovirus actually get paralysis. 95 percent beat the virus by their natural immunity and about 4 to 8 percent develop minor symptoms like fever etc. When Salk/Sabin vaccine were introduced in 1950s-60s, cases of polio actually went up across the US. let me paste the stat link here if it is posisble: http://vaxtruth.org/2012/03/the-polio-vaccine-part-2-2/.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    By the same token, wild poliovirus has less than a few hundred cases. And even in those, some were kids vaccinated already – which shows either the vaccine was responsible or at least the vaccine was ineffective. In both cases, vaccine fails as prevention against polio.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Excuse me, what is the definition of an epidemic? Is 47K vaccine-caused cases not an epidemic? Is 300 plus kids of Nigeria paralyzed by the vaccine-derived virus not an epidemic?Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    I do care about people and I have editorial access to many popular sites and papers in US and around the world. I chose to submit a blog to ET because I deemed it unethical to let ET be used by vaccination industry as its mouthpiece. If you want to talk facts, just jump in with your arguments/info.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    On that analogy, if millions die from car crashes such that the manufacturer knew the car had a flaw and hid it from customer, they should be made accountable for the death caused by the car. vaccine-injured people have gone to court and millions of dollars from government in US because their families were destroyed by vaccine (the most recent case in media being of a Florida girl who was brain damaged by flu vaccine).Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    I wish your son safe an sound. It doesn’t happen in every case, in most cases human body can beat virus – whether vaccine-derived/wild. But even the self-proclaimed “experts” can’t tell what children would get affected. These professionals keep looking for excuses when children are affected, as was the case in measles vaccine which killed and damaged a number of childrem in Pakistan and then Syria.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    you sir should educate yourself about the history of misquoting sources and lying about research. EACH and EVERY source of yours is misquoted or a complete lie. You should be ashamed of this.
    I have proved in my comments that you have lied to the public.Recommend

  • Kellie Bischof

    Early polio vaccines were later found to be contaminated with SV-40 virus, which has been found inside cancerous tumors. Vaccines are overrated and health doesn’t come in a needle.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    If you think the World Health Organization is conspiring against you, then the debate’s over. I’m not going to discuss EBPWA’s (East Bahawalpur Polio Wali Association) statistics, or whatever dubious source that conforms with your unscientific expectations.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Trashing something as conspiracy is an easy and by now pretty trite way to escape a scientific/logical discussion. I don’t say WHO is “conspiring against me” – like the clerical propaganda that tried to impede the vaccination movement by false allegations of infertility caused by vaccine. But I am talking about science about facts and fact is that it’s proven unsafe. WHO doesn’t lie for conspiracy – it lies for self-interest. Hint: It’s current polio vaccination budget for the third world is over 5 billion dollars. Explains a lot about why polio vaccination is so aggressively represented while cholera – much more deadly is not even acknowledged. But keep reading – I definitely mean to talk about cholera, whether on ET or elsewhere, I will write about this so-called “acute water diarrhoea” that has at least 90 outbreaks in Pakistan and yet media (English-language one particularly) remains so silent over it.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    47k cases cited in your blog are NOT of polio. There is no relation between those cases and the polio vaccine. Citing them is like saying “500 people die in bus crashes each day”. therefore everyone should stop taking cough medicine”. I already pointed out that your source is not credible.
    how to show that children fall ill when they do not take vaccine? look up polio cases from 1900 till 1960. there are MILLIONS just in INDIA. after the vaccine there are only 100 or so, and even those are from ALL over the WORLD.
    I see that both logic AND math take a hit every time you comment here. so please make sure you have dome at least a little research before you blunder into comments section.
    My last sentence is not an insult, I apologize if it seems personal. It is just an advice I have followed myself. I am not a doctor so I was not fortunate enough to have this knowledge. but ever since alarmist and extremist educated Taliban have started pseudo science propaganda against Polio vaccine I have read almost 12 thousand pages on the subject. If allowed by ET you can send me you email, I can mail you what I have. You are an educated member of the society , perhaps your viewpoint will shift once you have the actual facts instead of these propaganda studies.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    they took it for THIRTY YEARS. and they prevented MILLIONS of cases using OPV.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    since 1900 till 1970: ZERO immunized
    more than 100 MILLION effected. mortality rate anywhere from 10 to 48 percent. feel picky and take your pick anywhere between those two.
    Since 1971 till 2000: More than 3 Billion immunized (OPV vaccine used. Yup the bad ,scary and horrific one)
    Less than 5000 confirmed cases of Polio.
    You do the math.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    those 47k have not got Polio. stop thine propagandaRecommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    please feel free to link anycase where a judge rules that polio vaccine has caused polio.
    you cannot name one , but here is a recent case where the judge threw out such a case
    http://www.northjersey.com/news/high-court-kills-polio-vaccine-lawsuit-1.354352Recommend

  • SamSal

    Ok, so what is even the point here?
    Polio vaccines should not be given?!

    And since the author has researched (at least that’s what he claims), can he (of course, based on his research) suggest an alternative? How should the world combat polio?

    And you know what’s funny? The dude is not even a doctor!Recommend

  • SamSal

    Ok, so what is even the point here?
    Polio vaccines should not be given?!

    And since the author has researched (at least that’s what he claims), can he (of course, based on his research) suggest an alternative? How should the world combat polio?

    And you know what’s funny? The dude is not even a doctor!Recommend

  • siesmann

    Sir,you don’t know the science behind vaccination.You are welcome to do as you like with your kids,but your assertion that medical professionsals refuse vaccination is just imagination.If anybody is campaigning against it,he should be reported to the licensing authority and his license revoked,and doesn’t deserve to practice medicine.They are putting others’ children at risk,and help in perpetuating the disease.A critic has to know deeply about a thing to be a critic.Most are pseudo-critics,and put doubts in the minds of people,mostly poor who are the ones that suffer most from the disinformation.Recommend

  • siesmann

    The proof is polio has been eradicated in all the countries of the world except 3 countries that leave millions of children without vaccination,Pakistan being in the forefront.Nobody denies rare vaccine related polio and paralysis(less than 1 in a million doses),but these children,at least most,are more prone to polio anyway(possible genetic propensity)(and would have gotten the wild-polio virus if there is an existing pool in the community,and suffered paralysis anyway.Wild -type virus is still more virulent than a mutated vaccine virus and more likely to cause paralysis. And there is also a public health perspective to mass vaccinations.It is to reduce or eliminate the pool of virus in the community,a sufficient amount of which leads to epidemics.The truth remains that there is a chance of eliminating polio just as small-pox was,given that people like you stop spreading the disinformation,and vaccine is universal.Recommend

  • siesmann

    So WHO lies,and you get your ilham from God direct.Ridiculous!!The medical experts believe it and are much more qualified than you to make a decision(you can make a decision for your kids,however you like)
    -How do you suggest that vaccinated person would not have gotton polio if not given vaccine.Virus doesnot need your permission to enter bodies,and if there is a large enough pool of carriers in the community, all will be exposed and most will get polio in their gut.How would vaccine double the chance of contracting polio.Wild type is more potent than mutated virus and more likely to cause polio in children more susceptible to it.
    Tell me how do doctors and other professionals earn from vaccine.Vaccines are given free in most countries under WHO auspices.NGOs and other vaccinators are willing to put their lives at risk in countries like Pakistan day in and out.And for you it is just the earning part that matters.
    And yes,doctors in most countries are required by law to discuss the risks and get the parents’ signature to document.
    For TTP apologists like you ,Osama is more important than the health of the community.Recommend

  • siesmann

    The budget is there because of the conviction of WHO and the donors.Do you know how much of it is given free over the third world?So you will blame diarrhea on the polio virus too.Cholera is more to do with water sanitation.The vaccine is there but way much more expensive.Would you please get some collections to buy it if you are so worried about it.Go to your friends,the oil-rich countries and convince them to help you.I am sure WHO will contribute.Just typing misinformation on the computer won’t help any.Do something if you are genuinely concerned.Recommend

  • siesmann

    1 in 100 infected will get paralyzed,and in a community where polio is prevalent,almost all kids will get infected..That might be few hundred paralyzed for you,but ask the parents and kids and guilt they will carry of listening to detractors like you.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Ban might have been imposed due to bad batches.MMR is given all over the world without problems now.medical community knows when to ban a medicine.Over the years many medicines with initial hype has been banned.In fact overbanning happens,and many countries will still keep using some medicines if the risk is acceptable.Most research is done in universities with government money,and contributions from Pharmaceutical companies.Off course ,phar companies want to benefit from the research they put the moneys into.But a company can have an exclusive right to produce a medicine for 10 years.After that competition lowers the price of a medicine tremendously.All industries work towards money making.It is not against the law,and it is totally regulated in most of the world.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Because polio has been eliminated in those countries.OPV is still the vaccine of choice where polio is endemic,as it provides direct immunity in the gut where it is needed most to prevent entry into the body.IPV only prevents the virus getting into the nervous system.Also for 3rd world countries cost is the concern.Not only IPV is more expensive,it requires injections and the cost associated with it raises it even further.WHO can only help so much.Recommend

  • siesmann

    who cares if one has Anti-jew,anti-west bias;and love for OBL.Recommend

  • siesmann

    How many children are born in a year in the world;let us say 10 million.1% of that is 100 thousand kids with paralysis yearly..Selective use of data to stick to your guns is irrational.Thank God world is not listening to your blabber.Recommend

  • siesmann

    and why don’t you write under your real name?.Karim Khan is a nice name.Recommend

  • xyz

    Is ET trying to be the Fox News of Pakistan? I personally think people who don’t vaccinate are doing humanity a service by aiding evolution through natural selection. These anti-vaccine alarmists should get a collective Darwin award, and then a criminal sentence when their children contract and spread preventable diseases.Recommend

  • siesmann

    ANd still OPV is being used all over the world.You can find editorials to prove any point you want.What matters is the professional opinion of Medical societies.How many editorials are there in Pakistani papers lauding OBL as a hero?For many Taliban and IS are the real Muslims.They still remain what they are-terrorists.The proof is number of Muslims and others killed by these entities.Being a mouthpiece of these entities is what is unethical and dangerous.Recommend

  • [email protected]

    You are missing the point.Recommend

  • siesmann

    In US a thief won millions because he fell down from the roof.A person claimed his telepathic faculties were injured from an MRI,and won.Doesn’t prove anything.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Only in rat experiments.No cases of humans getting cancer from that vaccine occurred.Health is not helped by the attitude of people like you.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Why is it that these things happen in Pakistan or some other Muslim countries?Don’t you think there is something wrong there.Vaccines need to be refrigerated at a certain temperature,and how many hours electricity is functioning in Pakistan.It is not self-claimed experts that make decisions about medicines,but committees of highly qualified professionals with periodic reviews.Recommend

  • [email protected]

    Seeing you misrepresent research or quote dubious internet sources, obfuscate facts, and allege ulterior motives and financial conflicts of interest in your responses to comments, I have become convinced that you are just another internet conspiracy theorist. Too bad you have been given space in a mainstream Pakistani newspaper and could potentially cause tons of damage to actual people.Recommend

  • Umair

    What was wrong with it that they stopped? Why should we continue?Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Your first claim “47k cases cited in your blog are NOT of polio” is a blatant lie – similar to the lies of WHO and the CDC etc. VAPP and NPAFP are terms contrived by the vaccine industry to mislead people from the fact that the vaccine caused “clinically similar” paralysis is not polio. Of course they had to invent these baffling terms because it would otherwise rip the mask of deception off the vaccination hoax.

    Your second faulty reason: “There is no relation between those cases and the polio vaccine.” Yes there is and it has been shown in case of Nigeria paralysis epidemic by Wassilak’s paper; again, if there is no relation between these and the so-called “NPAFP”, then how can you claim that there is relation between “disappearance” of wild polio and the vaccine. You readily twist your own line of reasoning to try to make a case in favor of vaccination –
    and that fails.

    You say “since alarmist and extremist educated Taliban have started pseudo-science propaganda against Polio vaccine…” well well well, I can see the
    ignorant Taliban creating anti-vaccine propaganda by creating the “anti-Islamic sterility-causing” story and the so-called educated pro-vaccine WHO-led extremists who are ready to sell their nation’s children and adults alike to
    get money and projects in the 5 plus billion dollars of polio vaccination projects in third world. And both these Taliban-minded are a threat to society. In fact the pro-vaccinators are more so because they got huge funding and
    alliance of media and so-called “progressive” liars who know nothing about science and research.

    I don’t mind discussing and debating, but the using the words “being ashamed for lying” shows that you need not only to read about public health with more attention and do more research but also work on improving your manners when commenting. So keep those thousands of pro-vaccine propaganda with you and get at least a dozen pages on ettieuqetes before you post your next comment.Recommend

  • Nero

    1. Some of biggest killer diseases of 19th century have been beaten back through mass vaccination (e.g. small pox and DPT). To suggest that vaccination is not needed because you didn’t get any of these diseases in your childhood, despite zero vaccinations, is just superfluous. You didn’t get them because they are not that prevalent any more, thanks to mass vaccinations. Just have a look at the data of children killed or maimed by such diseases in 19th century.
    2. Lot of the data you have cited can be traced to the OPV versus IPV debate. Pharma companies are trying very hard to get countries like India to shift to IPV. But, the fact remains that cost, usability and infrastructure issues make OPV a better candidate than IPV. Infact, there has been a resurgence of some variants of Polio in USA, especially in California. But that doesn’t suggest that vaccination is not needed. Rather that vaccination is part of an evolutionary arms race – between vaccines and bacteria/virus. The latter will also evolve is response to the former.
    3. The fact that pharma establishment tries to push too many vaccines on the necessary vaccination lists in developing countries doesn’t mean that many of the vaccines aren’t necessary. The debate might be that “which vaccines are necessary”, not “are vaccines necessary”.Recommend

  • Ilyas

    I am sure no medicine is “completely safe” as you put it. so what do you recommend? Claiming that it is not “completely safe” but saying it in a tone to make it sound “dangerous” to parents of children? Do you seriously think that countries who have eradicated polio are merely a propaganda machines that sell polio vaccine? Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    The world Medical Association (WMA) is lying. WHO Is lying. CDC (Center for Disease Control) is lying. UNICEF is lying. The British Medical Association is lying. The Pakistan Doctors Association is lying. Every Doctor in the world who gives polio vaccine is lying. Math is lying (100 million being a higher number than 345 is a lie). Logic is lying. Maximus is lying in his comments and the 4 billion people who have been given vaccine are all lying. So who is telling the truth?
    Ernest Dempsey and the Taliban of course.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    I think he left the “point” far far behind. tbh the “point” is now a dot. rather where he stands the “point” is now measurable using only radio telescopes arrays.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    They adopted a new vaccine whihc is costly. You live in a third world country which is “given” the polio vaccine as charity by WHO. you don’t have to pay for it much. You should be grateful that you are getting the vaccine in the first place.
    If the supply is stopped you will become a country of maimed and paralyzed children within years. Your cities are congested and devoid of any good sanitation and will further enhance the virulent spread.

    Do you want that to happen? I can say with complete surety that if Pakistan stops polio vaccination and polio epidemics start then the ones who mislead the nation like this blogger will not be able to show their face in the public.Recommend

  • siesmann

    243 kids in Pakistan paralysed due to polio this year and counting.How many more would you have to change your opinion?Recommend

  • Sir Loin

    FYI:
    Enterovirus and Acute Flaccid Myelitis is
    Polioencephalomalacia (PEM)

    I strongly recommend any case reported as above be investigated as
    toxic poisoning.

    The toxin you should be looking for is sulfur.

    The symptoms in these reported cases are identical to
    polioencephalomalacia (PEM) found in cattle.

    In most
    recent years it has been found that PEM is being caused by excess
    sulfur in the animal’s diet. The excess sulfur is coming from feeding
    ethanol by-products, where sulfur is used in it’s manufacturing.
    It
    has been shown that Ethanol by-products can and has been lethal to
    many animals.
    Sulfur is a mineral, as is calcium and other
    minerals and is passed on to humans in milk, meat and eggs.

    Excess sulfur blocks the absorption of copper causing a
    compromised immune system and paralysis and even death.

    For
    more information and how to properly diagnose and treat PEM please
    visit : http://todayscattle.yuku.com/directory#.VF-DquktCMRecommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    All claims and rhetoric, no science, no proof in your comment.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    This is the kind of pharma-run dictatorial mindset that actually made me select a Pakistabi paper to inform people of the untold facts about vaccination hazards – and I could go on and on with peer-reviewed, published research that shows the long-term health risks (but I wanted to keep it short for one blog so I only showed the vaccination-caused polio). Financial interest? That is what vaccination is all about. WHO pays the government, the NGOs, even probably commenters like you who don’t use their real name to promote “safe” vaccines that have crippled and killed many in Pakistan alone. I have published articles on such reported cases on Digital Journal.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Vaccines are given free in most countries so doctors don’t earn from it? Are you awake? I mean really, do you even know what you are saying? I would recommend that you get out of your house, go to a hospital and ask about the salaries of doctors, health workers, and special pay of people in local admin who earn from it. And is WHO doing it all for free? It’s current budget for the next 5 years if 5.5 billion dollars for polio “immunization” in third world. The “free health” exists only in your head. Wake up!

    Given your hollow claims, I challenge you to show me video evidence of vaccinators telling parents about OPV risks before administering vaccines to their children. And well, that is the end of your rhetoric lols.

    Terrorists like Osama are better dead and Taliban mindset is prominent – taliban say don’t challenge the word of the “ameer” or religious leader; you say don’t challenge the crooked doctor, the health authority. Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Conviction? What conviction? Do you know the meaning of the term? You say free healthcare and then on cholera, you are worried about expensive vaccine. Hello!!!!!!! Your comment makes no sense. Please try to be coherent.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Cliched way of escape from an argument that you are losing. Sorry, not at all impressive. Trying to generalize the parts of an argument to make what in logic is called a “strawman” is a cheesy way of saying “don’t get specific or else I will try to laugh at you and deceive myself with a sense of victory.” Try better MDM.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    making baseless claims doesn’t win an argument. Many medical doctors do refuse vaccination and doctors like Suzanne Humphries have written extensively against vaccination with original medical records that prove vaccination was and is a failure.

    I would love to debate the science of vaccination with you and we’ll let readers see who knows how much about it. Since I am on the offensive side, I’ll invite you to start with detailing how vaccination works.

    Yes, the poor do suffer from misinformation – that is why they are taken in by propaganddists like Taliban on one hand and WHO and its health-admin gangs on the other – one deceiving with the tool of religion and the other with fake science.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    I am sorry to say that your ignorance is so deep that it has to be addressed at the ABC level. You have now started talking about medicine instead of vaccines. Medicine is NOT Vaccine. Medicine is prescribed to “treat” symptoms of a disease (after a disease happens); vaccine is claimed to “prevent” a disease (before a disease happens). Please read and try to understand the meaning of basic terms before posing as a scholar here.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    If polio was such an unstoppable contagion, it should have wiped out or crippled at least half of the population of the world over the thousands of years that humans were without vaccine.

    So you are admitting that the third world is given a less epensive vaccine while it should have gotten a costly one. tell me Mr Meridius, why is there a costly and a less costly vaccine in the first place? Why not a single vaccine for all?

    Your first part is again a fear-mongering “if vaccine is not given then all gloom and doom” kind of claim that has no scientific or logical basis. And it is not “charity” – WHO is earning from it. In a country like Pakistan where one third of the population lives in killing poverty, WHO pays its campaign supervisors in upper five-figures to six-figures. It’s big business profiting the vaccine manufacturer and the project executors. And its health risks are proven no matter how much denialists like you try to hide it under various excuses.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    My goodness! You deserve the master of unreason award by that comment alone. Instead of calculating the percentage for children who contract polio infection, you jump on to assume every child born is to contract poliovirus. I mean are you even aware what you are saying. Or are you trying to say something but for some reason utter something else?Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Yes, definitely, the terrorists remain terrorists and the risks of OPV remain risks no matter how many medical societies endorse it and how many trolls and fakes promote it in comments or on blogs.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    this is the most ridiculous comment i have read on Entire ET. He says people like me get paid to comment.
    I think then I am owed at least 30 thousand. 300 comments 100 per comment.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    your claim reeks of ignorance. The so called “budget” of WHO is the charity collected from Developed countries to be spent on poor nations. please wake up from your sleep and look around you. Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    I am not trying to impress you. I have already won the argument. To be honest there was no argument. You are not a health care professional, your sources are not genuine, your statistics are AGAINST you. You were just publishing propaganda and we found out the truth.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Polio kills A PERCENTAGE of population. how do you think our population expanded to 6 billion in 100 years? you are now behaving like a petulant child who will not leave a toy no matter what the adults tell him.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    yes you will let no one vaccinate your child. I’m sure he will thank you when he grows up /sarcasm offRecommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Introduction of Suzzane Humphries fron Rationalwiki
    Direct Copy Paste from http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Suzanne_Humphries
    Suzanne Humphries is a nephrologist (kidney doctor) who has recently (as of 2011) become a vocal proponent of pseudoscience and quack medicine. Humphries has been involved with the International Medical Council on Vaccination, a front group for vaccine hysteria, and is a signer of the organization’s anti-vax Project Steve petition. She has written several blog posts and done several podcasts and interviews insinuating that kidney failure is caused by vaccines.[1][2] Humphries uses this purely anecdotal, unstudied, “feeling” of vaccines’ role in kidney disease to try and justify why her complete lack of training in any relevant field of immunology or vaccines doesn’t disqualify her as an “expert” on the topic.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    the percentage of those who contract polio has dropped to one in 50 million since 2000. It was one in 1000 before that. What changed? nothing except vaccine. Our cities grew more polluted, sanitation levels dropped in third world to abysmal depths.

    I have seen here that you try to attack the person instead of answering any of his arguments. As you think you know logic fallacies I will leave it up to you to realize which one this is. Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Much more reliable than your so-called “charity” scavengers who pay third world propagandists to create slogans in favor of a banned vaccine.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    If you can read, then open your eyes and read again: I wrote “WIPED OUT OR CRIPPLED”.
    And yes, no matter how hard you try with your infantile put-downs to assume the role of an adult, you only making yourself an object of pity.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    By that line of reasoning, the authorities deciding that a vaccine is safe also doesn’t prove that is is safe.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    How many of those 243 were already vaccinated. Just today ET reports one case in which a vaccinated 8-month-old baby was striken with polio. A number of such cases have already been reported on ET and Dawn, Your vaccine is not only unsafe, it is also ineffective.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    charity scavengers? who are you claiming to be a scavenger? please feel free to explain your comment. for in its present state it is complete and utter gibberish, not worth the pixels it appears as.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Living in denial is your choice. Self-proclaimed victories are the lot of the ignorant. So feel free to rejoice in your victory. Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Trying to seek refuge in words will hardly help you MDM. But if it comes to language, let’s take the debate there. Definition of budget as I see it in a dictionary is: “The total sum of money allocated for a particular purpose or period of time.” Now what’s your definition of budget – most likely you are going to find excuses now and probably it is the only time when you can actually have the guts to quote a source. Or are you not good at dictionaries either?Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    I only attack in self-defense – and that I consider is fair deal. I always answer the “argument” – another thing though that I don’t see any here, only unfounded claims and rhetoric. Claims as you make in this post above. Playing the stat game won’t work against me because I can easily point to your shift from over all numbers to percentage now.

    Are you saying one in one thousand person on earth was having polio before 2000? Please do answer it in clear words cz I can’t wait to put some real stats before you. And do include a link to your source for your answer.Recommend

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Quoting RationalWiki as a source – a propaganda website working for establishment and scamming people in name of donations. If that is your source on credibility of professionals, then you need to re-evaluate the authenticity of your sources. Here’s about RationalWiki: http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/RationalWiki.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    feel free to rejoice in the fact that you will prevent your child from taking this life saving vaccineRecommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    I fail to see how your reply has ANYTHING to do with my comment. You said “If polio was such an unstoppable contagion, it should have wiped out or crippled at least half of the population of the world” and I replied that yes it used to cripple a large percentage of population but we stopped it from doing that using vaccine, and our population went to 6 billion.
    Now tell me what your rant is about? what do you want to say?
    Please just tell me what your argument is. Statistics show that upto 2.1 percent of world population suffered from polio before vaccine was invented. this percentage dropped to 0.00167% in 2014 (I am using YOUR statistics here. I added 47K in India, 5K in Nigeria according to your source, 13K in other countries and I topped it off with 35K more cases just to be on the safest side). Please stop ranting and tell me how according to your imagination our polio cases dropped from 2.1 % of world population to 0.00167%. I would like you to answer this.Recommend