The Lebanese ministry of Public Health is starting a massive polio vaccination campaign tomorrow. As I’m currently rotating in pediatrics, I’ve seen a lot of parents who are unaware of the vaccine, who are having second thoughts about giving it to their children and who have not given the vaccine much thought to begin with.
Why You Should Care:
With the increasing influx of Syrian refugees, Lebanon is at an increased risk of a resurgence of diseases that we thought had long died off in the country, second to successful campaigns, such as polio.
Because the Syrian refugees in the country are uncontrolled, we cannot ascertain the disease load they’re bringing with them as as such we have to be extra careful with our children’s well being.
Poliomyelitis is a viral infection that can leave your kid paralyzed. Why take the risk?
Why You Should Spread The Word:
Polio vaccines are in two forms: an oral form and an inactivated injectable form. Both have 100% efficiency. The latter has no side effects while the former has a side effect that happens at about 1 in 2.4 million. The form that will most probably be employed in the campaign is the oral form and this provides the country with something that is called herd immunity and is actually able to help the children that have not be vaccinated.
Herd immunity is basically the following: when people in a setting are all incapable of catching a disease and therefore spreading it, those who are not vaccinated will be protected by default. In case of the oral polio vaccine, the vaccine gets excreted by the child and can be transferred to other children. Therefore, the more you spread the word and the more children get vaccinated, the more the country will be protected.
Consult Your Pediatrician:
Your doctors are there to help you. Many of you have most probably had their children take the polio vaccine already but if you have any doubt on the matter, consult your pediatrician and ask them what to do. They will be more than helpful given that they are active components of the campaign set forth by the ministry of health.
I know this isn’t the regular stuff you’d expect from this blog but I find this matter of utmost importance and I hope you find that is the case as well.