African Polio Outbreak Linked to Vaccine

Once a major killer disease and cause of lifelong paralysis, Polio has all but been eradicated by intensive vaccination programmes

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

There is no doubt Polio vaccines have been an overwhelming benefit for humanity. Extensive use of Polio vaccines has led to the near eradication of this dreadful disease. But Polio is a live vaccine, a weakened version of the real virus. Sometimes live vaccines go horribly wrong.

Vaccine-derived polio spreads in Africa after defeat of wild virus

Fresh cases of disease linked to oral vaccine seen in Sudan, following outbreak in Chad

A new polio outbreak in Sudan has been linked to the oral polio vaccine that uses a weakened form of the virus.

News of the outbreak comes a week after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that wild polio had been eradicated in Africa.

When a child receives the oral vaccine, the weakened virus replicates in the intestine, encouraging the production of antibodies, and can be present in excreta. In an area where there are high enough levels of immunity in the population, this usually does not present a problem, even if sanitation is poor.

But in areas where there is both poor sanitation and a lack of general immunisation the virus can survive and circulate for months, mutating over time until it poses the same risk of paralysis-causing disease as wild polio.

Read more:

A statement from the WHO is available here.

It is far from clear exactly how local health authorities and visiting medical teams lost control of the vaccine. Hopefully a review of this outbreak will improve future outcomes.

72 thoughts on “African Polio Outbreak Linked to Vaccine

  1. THis is an absolute tragedy but to me it is no surprise and a very big warning for any other vaccines that are coming down the line.

    • It’ll be okay the POTUS has everything in hand. A magical wand to enable testing in weeks instead of months. A blindfold to enable problems to be unseen. a ready supply of nukes to keep others from stealing the untested remedy!

  2. But in areas where there is both poor sanitation and a lack of general immunisation the virus can survive and circulate for months, mutating over time until it poses the same risk of paralysis-causing disease as wild po

    I wonder if the use of biologic immuno-suppressant drugs, such as Humira, Kineret, Enbrel etc. could have a similar effect.

    • IMO immunisation in the quoted paragraph is either a poor word choice or a typo. It should read <immunity to match the context of the preceding paragraph. Theoretically, immunization can only work when people possess a healthy, functioning immune system (so your point is valid), or immunity, as they call it.

    • The Moderna COVID-19 study does not contain live virus. The mRNA-1273 study vaccine includes a short segment of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), which is entirely synthesized in a laboratory. The mRNA vaccine degrades naturally, and does not persist in the body. So, I don’t think there’s any worry about the mRNA mutating into the COVID19 virus.

      • You are still introducing a foreign signling mRNA into a system that may not understand it’s intended programmatic purpose. Neither you nor I or anybody can say what will happen.

      • The other “100% made in lab/no risk of HIV/HRSV/SV40 contamination unlike these polio vaccines” vaccine was hep B, and it was the one vaccine catastrophe that made French people very skeptical of vaccine, an event dully denied by the French commentariat, the French medical institutions, the French academies, and the French law community who had to make up a specific French standard: victims of a vaccine must prove a “certain and direct link”, two things that simply don’t exist in medical judicial sciences. Also, all m u r der cases could probably be reopened by requiring that standard. The European court finally forced France to dismiss that insane standard that was made up only to protect Big Vaccine. That dismissal caused a lot of drama of the children who monopolize comments in France.

    • “I’m concerned about a rushed Covid19 vaccine”

      Yes there seems to be a race on for national or research unit prestige to be the first out with the one and only true saviour for mankind and we need to hasten slowly under the circumstances.

      First up we’ve had no success with the common cold to date and now the warning signs with polio which has comparisons with pertussis vaccine developments. Like climate change you mustn’t talk about any shortcomings whatsoever or you’re immediately an anti-vaxxer. Science and scientific enquiry be damned when bureaucracy on the taxpayer teat gets wound up crusading and empire building.

    • Either we have all the checks and controls on vaccines and drugs for a reason or we don’t. Its completely unclear to me that if they exist for a reason, Covid is anything like a serious enough threat to do away with them.

  3. Exactly the same thing has happened in India and likely elsewhere where it hasn’t been reported, however it should not be forgotten that the numbers of infections from re-activated polio from vaccines is only a tiny fraction of the number of cases prevalent before vaccination was used for eradication.

    And like in India I suspect the problem is that the oral vaccines were used where conditions for using injected vaccines failed to reach enough of the population. Oral vaccines have always been known for the propensity to occasionally re-activate while the injectable vaccines do not.

  4. some of the billions spent on vacines should be used for water n sewage and nutrition ie power to run fridges etc
    and polio wasnt a huge risk in the places they were vaccinating.
    and as for rare?
    canadian kids died and are ill from the polio vax used there, 50+k Indian kids as well
    usa kids seem to be getting a trackable 2yr outbreak of the flaccid paralysis carefully stated to not be polio(lol)
    anyone can look it up if you doubt me

    also nice to se the sledgers on russias vax may have redfaces it works and its old style safer, or as safe…as any vaccine is

    • some of the billions spent on vacines should be used for water n sewage and nutrition ie power to run fridges etc

      Which is more important for human longevity, medical advances or things like water, sewers, nutrition, and housing?

      This had been steady progress in reducing death rates in the early and middle years of life. Cleaner drinking water, better sanitation and improvements in housing, education and nutrition all contributed, aided latterly by the development and widespread application of vaccines, antibiotics and other advances in preventive and therapeutic medicine. link

      The clue in the above quotation is “aided latterly”. Improved living conditions made the big early improvements in lifespan. Medicine’s contribution came later. In that light, the best thing for Africans would be increased prosperity. Vaccines are kind of like lipstick on a pig.

      If you look at a list of lifespans by country, you find the overwhelming majority of short lifespans in Africa. link IMHO, polio is nowhere near Africa’s biggest problem. Economic development is way more important.

      • AMEN!
        Let’s dig a well hither and yon but keep them in the dark.
        Let’s drop ship medical aid but keep them in the dark.
        Let’s truck in food from hundreds of miles, but keep them in the dark.
        I find it ponderous that we cannot electrify Africa.
        I do know Bill and Melinda would not forgo electricity in their homes.

  5. Molecular revertants in the Sabin vaccine have been recognized for decades. But the Sabin live attenuated vaccine is far more efficacious than the Salk inactivated virus vaccine.
    Both were developed long before molecular genetics could tell us what was happening or even what the RNA genome sequence of the polio virus was.

    This is a disease now of the 3rd world there is little economic incentive for a vaccine maker to spend the money to develop a live attenuated vaccine where reversion can’t happen. Its easily doable now with reverse genetics, but getting such a vaccine through testing and trials is too costly for western pharmaceutical companies.

    • You are correct; however, let it get a little out of hand and we start seeing pockets of polio show up in the West, Katy bar the door.

  6. “Wild polio.” I wonder if Richard Attenborough will be doing a series. (Sorry for taking up space. Couldn’t resist.)

  7. Clearly I am going to be in the minority if not alone here as I would prefer that we don’t vaccinate to begin with. There is some evidence and some belief that polio was on the downswing in America BEFORE the vaccine was ever administered. If people would research and consider what is in those vaccines in addition to what is supposed to be the “medicine”, or invoke the immune response and the toxic effect they have on the body it should give EVERYONE pause. Obviously it does for a lot of us.

    But even aside from that, the ‘one size fits all” medical treatment probably is never a good idea to begin with. Even if you’re pro vaccine or okay with vaccines, there is still a reason that over four billion dollars has been paid out in the United States to those who have proven injury or worse directly from vaccines. It’s not going to have the intended effect for everyone. There’s God’s way and the natural God given way and there’s the pharmaceutical way. I know which way I prefer.

    • Absolute nonsense. You clearly did not live through the era. I did. The vaccines were a miracle.

      They still are.

      • I’d agree wholeheartedly with that Walter. Some diseases are a no brainer with vaccines and individuals in largely vaccinated healthy societies can live in a fools paradise about that which would quickly become apparent to them with a fallacy of composition should we all suddenly take their view. But there is a spectrum of afflictions and conditions whereby taken to the extreme we can be using sledgehammers to crack walnuts.

        In developed countries we vaccinate for measles and chicken pox not so much for our children but for the benefit of the malnourished in poorer countries. What of flu injections and should they be mandatory? Annually or 6 monthly for new mutations? Or if these afflictions are largely nuisances should we really be accommodating them to keep up natural immunity over the long haul?

        Here you can some warning signs re polio and pertussis vaccination developments that our silver bullets can lose some shine if we’re not careful. Then there’s the obvious with the overuse of antibiotics and the new superbugs after we’d come to believe we’d conquered bacterial infection. Not so with our antiseptic world and an understanding that even that can be overdone and we need to be exposed to some dirt and bugs from an early age or there are consequences for a healthy immune system.

        There’s a spectrum of threats here but there isn’t one size fits all and we need to be aware of it and maintain some healthy skepticism that Govt and medicine can save us all from everything that goes bump in the night if we’d only listen to them. After all shouldn’t our Govts be rolling out the new Russian Covid vaccine that Putin has verified and it’s now compulsory you all get your shots as good citizens? Or else!

      • “The vaccines were a miracle.”

        There is no scientific evidence of that claim. Polio was on the decline when vaccination started and cases spiked afterward for a short time. Polio declined in un-vaccinated populations at the same rate as vaccinated ones so the control group showed no benefit.

        Since they don’t do control group or long term studies we don’t know what the actual benefits vs risk of vaccines are.

        • yes Im chuckling at claims of double blind lacebo controlled trials for covid vaxxes
          what a load of rubbish
          NO vaccine CAN be placebo i n a trial as thatd would breach duty of care/risk regs
          and how can you double blind when youre ONLY trialling one?
          there IS NO other option to use as a comaparator

          ive seen dodgy painkiller trials where the “placebo” was simply a similar drug of another maker
          so NOT a placebo at all
          but used to HIDE the adverse events
          see both groups had x y z events so ours is no more dangerous
          when the truth was?
          BOTH were dangerous
          and deaths in humans showed up fairly soon
          so then? they started pushing the same meds to animal use
          NEVER give or allow to be given to your pets especially rottweilers any Previcox!!
          and avoid similars like Rilixine cartrophen etc
          they all are meant to be blood test forkidney/liver function used for short 3 to 5 days ONLY and ten to kill older arthritic pets fairly quickly
          use injectable carPROfen/Pentosan
          Its sfe and effective and now being used for humans with joint issues
          it works , even has shown to rebuild cartiledge to some degree. also good for some oesophageal paralysis issues in canines to an extent.

        • Correct. Most of the reduction of disease attributed to vaccination actually occurred due to better sanitation and fewer people living in overcrowded slum conditions. Vaccinations for all against diseases where 1 in 10,000 are likely to be killed by that disease would never be contemplated by any real scientist or medical doctor as all vaccines themselves present a very real threat of inducing death or a miserable existence for life at rates far higher than 1 in 10,000. Those scientists or doctors would instead ensure that 1 in 10,000 person had better medical care so that they were far less likely to die. But big pharma would lose a fortune and people would be far healthier and for some reason the profits of big pharma are more important than people’s well being.

      • “miracle”

        or trick?

        “Records show that reported polio fell away quickly after polio vaccination began in 1955. Vaccination has been given the credit for this, but health authorities made changes to reporting methods at this time. Briefly, those changes were:

        Paralysis had to last for at least 60 days for a case to be called ‘paralytic polio’, previously it had been 24 hours.
        ‘Non-paralytic’ cases, including all the paralysis cases lasting less than 60 days, were no longer called polio.
        From 1958 polio cases could only be established with a strict pathology test finding the presence of poliovirus, rather than from diagnosis by a doctor on symptoms.
        Also, for a case to be called polio the pathology test had to show presence of the ‘wild type’ of poliovirus, not the vaccine type (meaning paralytic polio contracted from vaccination was not counted).”

        “As a result of the new reporting procedures, cases that had previously been reported as paralytic polio, but pathology testing showed no evidence of poliovirus, were now diagnosed as other diseases or conditions.

        Today there are two terms used for sudden onset paralysis from disease cause, they are Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) and Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP).”

      • They were a miracle, but they were also contaminated with a monkey virus that was later found to be potentially carcinogenic. You lived through the era so you may remember the PR campaign in the mid ’60s that was meant to create the public perception that viruses don’t cause cancer. See Bookshin’s expose, “The Virus and the Vaccine,” St Martin’s Press, 2005, for more on this little-known public health fiasco.

        The virus, known as SV40, was linked by researchers in the early ’60s to mesothelioma (the tort lawyers’ gold mine). As the population that received those contaminated vaccines has aged, mesothelioma cases have skyrocketed but hey, it’s not the vaccines, it’s asbestos causing those. Right?

      • its rather like covid however
        millions had polio as a small upset gut or fever and were fine
        a few thousand from those were badly affected or died
        and like now kids with covid seemed fine
        but i think? youve had 6 ?die from a follow on syndrome that seems to develop in some kids
        My nan had polio while pregnant she was ok, small effects on one leg
        her daughter my aunt has one weak arm , that said I saw her swim both ways across the Murray river as teen she never let it stop her.
        well fed people in homeswith a decent safe water supply and plumbing did get polio too
        but from the kids who werent as well off it seems. polio made people scared and they upped thir hygeine and care
        like with covid that alone has a HUGE effect on transmission, ditto the massive drop in cold n flu of the normal sort presently due to that.
        back in the polio era we also had kids with ricketts and scurvy and all sorts of ilness due to poor nutrition etc

      • “The vaccines were [sold as] a miracle. They still are.”

        Fixed that for you.

        The other event that was curiously correlated with the paralytic polio outbreak in the 1950s was a widespread DDT spraying campaign. Quite a few folks here think that DDT is also a miracle for its anti-malarial benefits, but is everyone sure that it had nothing to do with all those polio cases?

      • It is often the case that the majority are mis-informed and truth surfaces via “narrow-minded cranks”.

    • This is just nonsense. Yes vaccines have risks but far better to save 1 million and kill ten then let 1 million die. It really is that simple.

  8. In the early to mid 50’s I received polio injections with the then new vaccine. Around 1963 when I was about 12, the grade school held a mass vaccination event. We lined up and received a sugar cube in a folded paper condiment cup which we were to take and discard the paper cup. The warning was that it was it contained live polio and if we handled the cube, we could pass polio to somebody else.
    Even that far back they were aware of the danger however as polio was still fairly common, it was felt that the risk of a live vaccine was far less that what we might encounter naturally. It’s possible that a child could disobey instruction and handle the cube if used or wipe their mouth shortly after receiving the dosage. If they are doing dose and forget, possibly they may need to watch everybody for a bit and if they violate protocol, send them to a wash station to correct the mistake.

    • Dena
      Nothing is perfect in life. Usually, compromises are necessary. That is something that liberals have difficulty comprehending.

      • “compromise …somethng liberals have difficulty comprehending…”

        LOL. Mitch McConnell, closet liberal I suppose ….

    • “The warning was that it was it contained live polio and if we handled the cube, we could pass polio to somebody else.”
      That makes no sense.
      The only danger is to the very rare person with a severely weakened immune system.

    • Vaccination in itself spreads the virus in the community. It’s expected and has nothing to do with improper handling.

      Improper handling in Africa OTOH caused people to be ill from polio because the virus was un-attenuated in storage.

  9. Just about everything here is based on the erroneous assumption that “polio” is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It is not. Polio happens when trauma to the nervous system (usually by pesticides, heavy metals, or vaccinations) allows the entry of otherwise benign enteroviruses, including the maligned poliovirus.

  10. I remember reading an interview with Dr Salk in the late 80’s (Wired mag I think). In it he lamented the fact that all the 1000-1200 cases in the developed world were caused by the vaccine. It was the live one you take orally. My heart skipped a beat. That was the one I had when young. We kids were all happy that there was no needle involved. Little did we know.

    As with smallpox, a vaccine approach to “eradication” of a genetically stable virus will work. But at some point we have to stop and say wrap it up using non-live vaccines. If you can’t see eradication as a near term goal (less than 10 years) you are using the wrong tool.

    70% of the polio cases in the world are “Type 2” which was eradicated in the wild before 2015. Why are we still including it in the vaccines and causing it?

    Of course this type of questioning gets oneself labelled as anti-vax by those who don’t like answering questions.

    • That’s part of the problem with the anti-vaxxers, they have made it difficult to raise legitimate questions like yours and made it far too easy for “experts” to dismiss any questioning of what they are doing.

      • the problem is the media highlighting the truly illinformed but vocal ones
        so anyone with valid doubts and questions who HAS really gone into it gets lumped into antivax tinfoil mob
        I will use a vaccine for some tings
        very few
        after reading all the data ingreients and trials data I make a considered decision
        I chose this yr to accept a pneumonia vaccine
        however the ONLY adult version in Aus govt approved PBS etc is one that conatins phenol as the “preservative/adjuvant” I have allergies tophenol but many who also do dont read the data and have severe effects and follow on topups in elders get worse events thats WHY they have a 10yr apart restriction AND no more then 2 in a lifetime.
        I chose the childs version pnumovax and had a hard time getting it approved . even then i spent the next day in bed aching with severe neuralgia and fever.
        I vaccinate my dogs with a killed version of the Parvovirus vaccine its less lasting but safer than the live version. I Only vaccinate when outbreaks are close by. other vaccines are 5 yrly max not every yr my animals are healthy and dont have the alergy issues many are now developing.
        over stimulating the immune system is stupid.

      • “anti-vaxxers”, really? That a pejorative dressed in colorful rhetoric a la diversity (i.e. color judgment).

        Vaccines are part of a risk management protocol. They are not magical elixirs without consequence. People should be informed, not dictated to as immature actors. There are other ways to address infection, transmission, and disease progression.

    • “As with smallpox, a vaccine approach to “eradication” of a genetically stable virus will work”

      Which polio vaccine can plausibly eradicate the virus?

  11. Bill Gates is the Devil, his arrest for crimes against humanity has been called for in the Italian Parliament, my and many others reaction to these so called miracle cures is You First Doc.

  12. Polio vaccines have been linked or could have caused the spread of multiple viruses to humans:

    – cancer causing virus in millions of doses of US polio vaccines
    – alleged, possible (potential) origin of HIV in Africa (that it didn’t happen here doesn’t mean it does not happen elsewhere in the multiverse)
    – VRS (virus respiratoire syncytial): very common illness for babies in France – common cause of death, but we don’t lockdown for that

  13. “But Polio is a live vaccine”

    Not true. The author simply did not do his homework. I received the inactive vaccine as a child in the form of a shot. When I became a parent in the 1990’s , the oral live vaccine was the predominant method of administration. I refused to give this live vaccine to my children because of the risk of actually contracting polio with a live vaccine. So I demanded our pediatrician administer the inactive vaccine. There were cases in the USA where children contracted polio from the live vaccine, so it was discontinued in the early 2000’s.

  14. If you get the Wuhan virus and you treat it quickly with something like the HCQ treatment, the body would be rid of the virus in about a week, give or take a few days, and the body would also be exposed to the Wuhan virus and would make antibodies to it as a result.

    So wouldn’t this kind of treatment be just as effective as a vaccine? You get the virus, the HCQ treatment interrupts its progression, and the body attains immunity in the process.

  15. The same issue caused a holocaust of misery in India, where following vaccination spells, the following years showed over 80% of polio cases were the vaccine strain.

    Vaccine companies should not EVER have limited or no liability ever

Comments are closed.