According to the source within the programme, the renewed outbreak of the P2 strand came from a mismanagement of vaccines, which carry a live strain of the disease to create immunity.
After the strand was eliminated from Pakistan five years ago, all P2 vaccines should have been collected from hospitals and clinics and not used. However, it appears a P2 vaccine was administered accidentally and a child became a carrier for the disease. Tests on the new cases allegedly show the children are all carrying a vaccine-derived form of the disease .
“Somewhere, somebody has inaccurately used this vaccine and because of this negligence … this virus was brought back into the environment and our children are again getting infected with P2,” alleged the source.
However, it is understood that, instead of publicly declaring the renewed outbreak and beginning a public vaccination campaign, a “secret” vaccination campaign will begin on Monday in Rawalpindi and surrounding cities in an attempt at containment. It is understood that only senior members of the polio programme are aware of the P2 campaign, with others – even those who will be administering the vaccines – led to believe it is a standard P1 and P3 polio vaccination programme.
“This P2 outbreak can only be contained if they do a quality vaccination campaign, and how can you do a quality campaign if you are carrying it out in secret, without any awareness or accountability?” said the source.
“If anything goes wrong and this P2 polio spreads throughout the whole country, who will take responsibility? Will they just keep telling more lies to cover up their mistakes and put more children at risk?”
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