(Note from Erin: These reports come after 25,000 children were sickened, allegedly after their Polio vaccine. However, the mainstream media says they were not sickened by the vaccine and that the story is a rumor. Thoughts? (see links at bottom) RIP to all killed.)
At the end of April, two gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed a polio vaccinator in the southwestern Pakistani city of Chaman. The gunmen fled after the attack.
According to an independent report, 95 polio workers have been killed while working since 2012. (The video below is from 2012.)
“The shooters opened fire on a group of vaccinators when they were at the front gate of a house in the remote village of Sultan Zai, near the border with Afghanistan, said Samiullah Agha, who is the assistant commissioner of Chaman.
Two members of the vaccination team were hit: Nasreen Bibi, 35, was killed, and Rashida Afzal, 24, was critically wounded, Mr. Agha said in an interview. Vaccination was suspended for an indeterminate period of time in the Chaman area after the shooting.”1
Regardless of how you feel about vaccinations, killing vaccination teams is unacceptable. And yet, polio workers, volunteers, and their guards are very often targeted because of the belief by Islamist militants and hard-line clerics that “the vaccination drive is a foreign plot to sterilize Muslim children and a cover for western spies.”1
Hayat Khan, a resident of a tribal area bordering Afghanistan who runs a shop, is himself skeptical of the polio vaccine:
“We have doubts in our minds about this western vaccine. Tribal people are not sure what they are giving to our children and what information they are collecting for spying. It’s a Western agenda, indeed.”1
The government of Pakistan has recently started a public education campaign and has also urged clerics to inform the population that the vaccine protects children from a disease that can lead to paralysis or death. (There have been eight cases of polio in Pakistan this year.)