As people are now vaccine-questioning, public health officials are looking for ways to prevent polio from becoming endemic again.
In September, after another New York county reported polio virus in sewage samples, Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency.
Now public health officials are concerned that polio is going to become endemic again, fueled, in part, by the mistrust of public health officials in the wake of the disastrous covid pandemic response.
The specter of polio becoming endemic in America again was once unthinkable. But as state public health officials embark on an urgent campaign to get more people vaccinated, the low rates among preschoolers in some pockets are evidence of both the challenges they face and the threat to the state’s youngest children — the very age group among whom polio is most likely to spread.
If vaccination rates do not increase, experts and health officials fear polio could continue to quietly circulate in the state and beyond within a pool of vulnerable people, leaving a fraction of them paralyzed — nearly 50 years after the disease was eliminated in the United States.
The disease, which in its current variant can paralyze one in 1,900 unvaccinated people it infects, used to kill and disable thousands of people a year in the United States, until polio vaccines were discovered and distributed to millions of Americans.
But now, delayed childhood vaccination throughout the world caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with a rising tide of government mistrust and vaccine misinformation (which, I will note, was provided by Big Pharma and Big Media), has caused the nation’s most sustained transmission of polio since 1979, experts say, creating an emergency for health officials.
The levels of childhood vaccination were already waning before covid. Given the complete failure of the vaccines to prevent transmission and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) likely placement of the experimental product on the childhood vaccine schedule, there is little wonder parents are no longer blindly embracing vaccine rules for their children.
What to do, what to do? It appears that the CDC is now considering using an oral polio vaccine for the first time in more than 20 years to stop an outbreak in New York.
We are in discussions with our New York State and New York City colleagues about the use of nOPV,” said Dr. Janell Routh, the CDC’s team leader for domestic polio, referring to the novel oral polio vaccine. The oral vaccine the CDC is considering is a newer form that is more stable and carries less risk of mutation.
“It will be a process. It’s not something that we can pull the trigger on and have it appear overnight,” Routh told CNBC on Friday. “There will be lots of thought and discussion about the reintroduction of an oral polio vaccine into the United States,” she said.
Hopefully, the oral option will be acceptable and work. It turns out that the polio virus is likely circulating undetected in Philadelphia, according to the city’s top health official.
“I do suspect that if we look,” Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said in an interview earlier this month, “we might find it.”
…Philadelphia currently tests wastewater only to find COVID-19. But Bettigole said she hopes to adapt the city’s testing program to proactively look for polio with the goal of getting ahead of potential spread in communities where people are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated. The virus, which reproduces in the intestines and sheds in stool, spreads through hand-to-mouth contact.
“One case of paralytic polio potentially indicates that there may be hundreds of other cases,” the city’s health department cautions.
One of the consequences of the gross mismanagement of the covid response is that Americans are now vaccine-questioning when it comes to injections. Hopefully this oral vaccine is the solution to today’s polio situation.DONATE
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