Polio

By Jason Wojciechowski on February 23, 2004 at 6:51 AM

A few months ago, The New Yorker had a story about the efforts to eradicate polio, with a large part of the article dealing with the difficulty vaccinators often had in convincing parents to let their children be immunized. Groups of people, sometimes families, sometimes whole villages, occasionally decide not to allow access to their children because of rumors that the vaccine is contaminated, or that there's some kind of plot by the U.S. to kill their children or who knows what else.

And now comes this story. Three entire Nigerian states have declared that they will not participate in the vaccination drive. The New Yorker piece ended with the writer and a health official visiting a village, where they encountered a mother whose son was now stricken with the disease because she had not allowed him to be immunized. This article ends with this line:

WHO warns that at least 60 million children in the region are at risk.
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