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Pakistan: Demands Facebook remove polio vaccine misinformation

4 May, 2019
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In recent months Pakistani social media has been inundated with fake news reports and videos — garnering thousands of views and shares in the last week alone — claiming numerous children have been killed by the polio vaccine.

Thousands of parents have refused to allow their children to be inoculated.

“The parental refusals due to propaganda on Facebook regarding the vaccine is emerging as the major obstacle in achieving complete eradication of the virus,” Babar Atta, who is helping oversee the country’s vaccination drive, said in a statement.

Atta has requested “Facebook’s management to block and/or manage the dissemination of such anti vaccination propaganda from their platforms operating from within Pakistan”.

At least three people were killed in the last country-wide anti-polio campaign in April.

The violence coincided with an outbreak of hysteria in cities across northwest Pakistan after rumours of children suffering from adverse reactions to a polio vaccine sparked panic, with tens of thousands rushed to hospitals.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 at 11:03 pm and is filed under Latest News.

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Literature Literature archive

Evans DR, et at. 2019 VACCINE Vol 37(40):6008-6015
Rozbroj, et al. 2019 Vaccine Vol 37(40):5986-5993
Justwan F, et al 2019 PLoS ONE 14(8): e0220658
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The Vaccine Knowledge Project at the Oxford Vaccine Group