Intended for healthcare professionals


Polio outbreak: officials deny reports of cover-up in Pakistan

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 13 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6496
  1. Ashfaq Yusufzai
  1. Peshawar

Pakistan has launched a fresh campaign to increase the uptake of polio vaccine, after the vaccine derived poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2) was detected in seven children in August.

The Pakistani government and the World Health Organization were not initially informed of the outbreak of the vaccine derived virus, which was thought to have been eliminated in 2014. But the federal health minister, Zafar Mirza, denied any attempt to conceal the outbreak. “There was no cover-up as we were waiting for full confirmation of the virus,” he told The BMJ.

To mitigate the associated risks, the Pakistan Polio programme …

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