​You asked: Is it safe for children to keep getting the polio vaccine? ​​

​​​Associate Professor Ali Faisal Saleem of the Department of Paediatrics & Child Health says: yes. 

So far in 2024, there have been 2 cases of polio in Pakistan: 

  • 1 from Chaman
  • 1 from Dera Bugti
In 2023, six children were affected by polio and the environmental sample positivity rate was 5%. But a year later, so far in 2024, it has already gone up to 16%. 

From August 2023 to date, 30 out of 119 sites have tested positive for Wild Poliovirus in Pakistan. This has happened for all major cities in Pakistan, including Karachi East, Malir, Korangi and Keamari. 

Karachi East is the highest positivity rate in Pakistan. 

You don't necessarily develop immunity from one shot. Sometimes multiple shots are needed, especially in a highly contaminated environment as mentioned above. 

The routine immunization coverage we have in Pakistan is not very good, especially in some districts. 

We have data from across Pakistan when we vaccinated both acutely and chronically malnourished children against polio. None of them got polio. 

There are, however, some special children who can be harmed. They are Primary Immunodeficient children, whose immune system is weak. 

Together with the Government of Pakistan, we have spread the immunodeficiency surveillance network across Pakistan. Every tertiary care facility or major hospital identifies immunodeficient children. And these children are NOT given polio vaccines.