ISLAMABAD: “Investigations and findings of forensic analysis do not link deaths of children in FATA to vaccination,” said Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq.

“No evidence of any link to vaccination has been found after a detailed forensic analysis of blood samples of children who were admitted to Hayatabad Medical Complex,” she said sharing details of the findings.

The report was issued by the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Khyber Medical College, Peshawar on 27th December, 2016.

After receiving the report about the death of children, Ayesha Raza asked FATA authorities for a thorough investigation to dispel rumours about possible link with vaccination, and a team of senior experts were tasked to provide a detailed report indicating the cause of death.

A forensic investigation was also ordered to allay concerns, even though there is neither any scientific basis nor any past incident in Pakistan or globally linking polio vaccination to the death of any child.

“Factually, a total of more than ten billion doses of Oral Polio Vaccine have been administered to over 2.5 billion children across the world without a single such incident,” she reiterated.

The unfortunate minors who were reported to have died on December 21 had other medical issues, but a few local papers link it with vaccination without waiting for any investigation report.

She also said that the children admitted to Hayatabad Medical Complex were discharged the next day, and at least half of them showed no symptoms and were just brought due to fear-mongering rumors.

She assured that oral polio vaccines are safe and used all over the world to eradicate polio, and around fifteen million people are walking today who have been paralyzed.

She further added that approximately 37 million children are administered polio drops during a single national campaign in Pakistan, and there has never been a link of any illness or death due to the vaccine.

“I want to assure parents that polio vaccine is a WHO certified vaccine which has been and is used all over the world to eradicate polio,” Senator Ayesha said.

She stated that it is necessary to give two drops of the oral polio vaccine to every child under five years of age in every campaign.

“This is the only way we can eradicate polio from Pakistan and the world so that no child has to suffer the scourge of disability because of a vaccine preventable virus,” she said.

The Senator stated that Pakistan is close to polio eradication, and it is in our national interest to create an environment that encourages vaccination.

“The vaccine continues to protect our children from lifelong disability and is also a mandatory requirement for travel outside Pakistan for every person including those performing Hajj or Umrah,” she said.