The recent diagnosis of case of Polio in New York City, Great Britain, Malawi, and Mozambique emphasizes not only the importance of Rotary finishing its commitment to eradicate the disease globally, but the difficulty of achieving that objective.
These cases highlight the need for encouraging people to get vaccinated at a time when vaccination rates are dropping. The community in New York had only a 60% immunization rate and the rate in the U.S. generally is only 80%. We have seen firsthand that polio anywhere is a threat everywhere.
But there is good news. Pakistan and Afghanistan now have historically low levels of wild polio caused cases. There is now a lower risk of vaccine-derived variant polio due to the new oral vaccine. The weakened strain of the virus is less likely to mutate and spur outbreaks in low immunization level communities.
World Polio Day on October 24th is a great opportunity for our clubs and districts to spread the word.