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Vaccination: The Key to Preventing More Polio Outbreaks
As long as polio exists anywhere, it is a threat everywhere, as evidenced by the recent
paralysis of a young man and the detection of the poliovirus in the sewage in five
counties in New York.

Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative have made great
strides over the past 30-plus years to reduce polio cases by 99.9 percent. As we
approach World Polio Day on October 24 th , what’s happened to our neighbors in New
York serves as a stark reminder that we still have work to do to increase the number of
children who are vaccinated for this terrible disease.

Here in the US, we often hear that vaccine preventable diseases like polio are no
longer a threat. As a Rotarian and friend of polio survivors throughout our area, I
encourage everyone to support immunization as the only protection against many
childhood diseases that we thought were no longer a threat.

From encouraging vaccine acceptance, to sharing fact-based vaccination information,
to advocating for polio eradication funding with elected officials, there are so many
ways in which we can each work to end polio for good: we must all do our part to
prevent polio outbreaks in our own communities and continue the march toward global

Smallpox was eradicated in 1980. We have an opportunity to make history by ending
polio, making it only the second human disease to have that marvelous distinction.
The PA Dept of Health issued a statewide advisory for health care professionals. It
clearly advises “Keeping patients up to date on their polio vaccination is the most
important way providers can prevent polio.”

The safety and efficacy of the inactivated polio vaccine (Salk Vaccine) is well
documented. It is the only vaccine to be given in the US since 2000. As evidenced in
our neighboring state of New York, for those who have not been vaccinated, the time
for urgent action is now.

Polio survivors all over the US and abroad celebrate Rotary’s efforts to eradicate this
disease, once and for all. We know, without question, that no child should suffer from a
vaccine preventable disease. The pain and disability can last a lifetime. To learn
more about World Polio Day - visit endpolio.org. Learn how you can get involved.
To learn more and join the fight against Polio, visit PolioEradication.org