August 5, 2013 -- Health Ministry officials attempted on Monday to contain a public outcry as the ministry started to inoculate 150,000 children who live in the south of Israel against polio.
The campaign comes in response to a spread of the virus, first detected in May in the sewage system in the Negev town of Rahat, and subsequently elsewhere in the south and in communities in the Sharon area. The children are to be inoculated with the same vaccine given in well-baby (Tipat Halav) clinics, which contains a weakened form of the virus.
A Facebook group called “Mothers say no to the weakened virus vaccine” was launched last week, and by the time of writing had more than 780 members. The group claims that the vaccine “was banned [in Israel] in 2005 and declared dangerous by the Health officials in Israel and everywhere in the world since it caused dozens of children to contract polio and become paralyzed.”
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