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Top health official declares polio vaccine drive a success

Nathan Jeffay is The Times of Israel's health and science correspondent

A health worker administers polio vaccine to a child as part of a UNICEF-supported vaccination campaign at the Abou Dhar Al Ghifari Primary Health Care Center in Damascus, Syria. (AP/UNICEF, Omar Sanadiki)
A health worker administers polio vaccine to a child as part of a UNICEF-supported vaccination campaign at the Abou Dhar Al Ghifari Primary Health Care Center in Damascus, Syria. (AP/UNICEF, Omar Sanadiki)

Israel’s public health chief Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis has declared Israel’s polio vaccine campaign a success.

The national campaign started in March, after the first clinical polio case in 34 years was found in an unvaccinated 4-year-old girl, followed by several asymptomatic cases.

Then, uptake of the most important polio shots, namely the killed vaccine administered between six and 18 months, stood at 81 percent. Now it is 96%.

Alroy-Preis told a press briefing on Thursday that the national vaccination campaign will now be reduced, and efforts will focus on Jerusalem. This was the location of the reported cases, and is seen by health officials as the main risk area.

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