Setting the record straight, there has not been a case of polio in Israel since 1988. However, Israel monitors for the presence of polio and has discovered polio virus in sewage in several cities. This discovery triggered a massive polio vaccination campaign in children, most of whom had already been vaccinated against polio with the killed injected vaccine. Now they are revaccinating children with the live oral polio vaccine in an attempt to stop the spread of polio virus. This live vaccine had been abandoned because it can cause polio infection in recipients and in caregivers who come in contact with the virus passed in feces when changing babies’ diapers. It is inevitable that the vaccine campaign will cause a few cases of polio, which will then be blamed on the wild virus “proving” that the vaccine campaign was necessary.
Children have been identified with antibodies to the wild polio virus, but no one has developed symptoms. A similar situation exists in Pakistan, where the virus has been identified, but no laboratory confirmed cases have occurred. This situation is reminiscent of a similar scenario that occurred in a Seventh Day Adventist community in the United States. None of the children were vaccinated in that community since vaccination is contrary to their religious principles. The community was exposed to a carrier of the polio virus and nearly all of the children in the community were shown to have antibodies to the virus, but no cases of polio occurred. The reason for this is that polio virus often causes cold symptoms, but rarely causes paralytic symptoms in the nervous system.
The Israeli vaccination campaign has resulted in huge protests. Many parents are objecting to the government forcing vaccination on their children. This backlash has resulted in a war between the vaccination proponents and those who oppose and refuse the vaccine. Each side is accusing the other of endangering the lives of children.
My advice is to stay out of the fray. Those who oppose vaccinations are not going to be convinced by government rhetoric. Their argument that big pharma is behind this vaccination campaign is hard to refute. Those who are intent on eradicating polio are convinced that risking some side effects of vaccines including cases of polio caused by the vaccine, and even some deaths, is a small price to pay in the war against disease. It is unlikely that this tempest in a teapot will result in anything except the sale of huge amounts of vaccine with their attendant profits for drug companies and a few cases of polio caused by the vaccine.
This campaign in Israel is also creating a precedent for a similar response in other countries, including the United States. Be prepared. It could happen here.