Comment on polio vaccination study: Dr Ben Neuman says a combination of vaccines could help but only if they are allowed to be administered. Post Bin Laden hunt means people in affected areas don't trust the vaccination teams
Release Date 11 July 2014
Dr Ben Neuman, virologist in the University's School of Biological Sciences, comments on a new study that suggests an injected vaccine could help eradicate polio.
Dr Neuman said:
"This is an interesting study. Using the injected polio vaccine in combination with the oral one could give better and longer lasting protection against polio infection. Not that the injectable vaccine is better, just that the vaccine needs to get to the blood in order to work - the most direct route is best.
"However vaccines only work if people take them. After the US used a polio vaccination scheme as a cover to find Bin Laden, people on the ground don't necessarily trust vaccine-giving groups, and where war goes, pestilence, famine and death often follow. Areas affected, such as Syria, parts of Nigeria and maybe Iraq soon, are effectively war zones. Earning back trust and education, combined with effective vaccination programmes, is the best way to tackle polio."