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WHO launches polio vaccination drive in Syria

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said a polio outbreak has been confirmed among young children in northeast Syria and risks spreading in the region, Reuters has reported. Most of the 22 victims are under two years old and are believed never to have been vaccinated against the crippling disease or to have received even a single dose of the oral vaccine instead of three which ensure protection, said WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer. It is the first outbreak of polio in Syria since 1999, according to the UN agency. “Immunisations have started in that area,” Rosenbauer told Reuters.