Poliomyelitis Disease: Mass Vaccination Programs

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Poliomyelitis Disease 


Mass vaccination programs are successful in the control of disease


Mass vaccination programs are a vital aspect of economic health, in the control of countless diseases, as supported by Science direct, with claims of more than 50 million lives saved each year (Mass Immunization – an overview, ScienceDirect Topics, 2019). The article discusses the benefit vaccines have brought to global health in the control of all diseases. Although, their evidence lacked in the discussion of the severity of polio disease in relation to the vaccination programs.

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Therefore, with supported research, a general research question “Are mass vaccination programs successful in the control of harmful diseases?” was created from the original claim. This was then concentrated to a focus of harmful diseases to emphasis a specific finding based from the original claim.

Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that causes paralysis and death in living organisms. It is a disease that is presently active in isolated countries with the intention of global organizations to eradicate it through vaccination (PolioAustralia, 2019). Poliomyelitis (polio) vaccination was introduced in 1955 in an attempt to lower the global death toll and relieve people of this deadly disease (Rotary International, 2019). The initial research conducted demonstrated extensive support to the claim, as there is a strong correlation between vaccination programs for polio disease. Due to the introduction of the vaccination, there has been positive outcomes such as population growth, global health and mass immunity. The eradication of polio is still in pursuit but health organisations have been highly successful in the control of infectious disease. However, the dangers of the polio disease are still active in three contained countries; Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, with people suffering symptoms and fatal outcomes (World Health Organisation, 2018).

Due to the extent of information supporting the control of the polio disease through mass vaccination, a research question was further refined to investigate poliomyelitis and a chosen country that was affected and relieved from the disease.

Therefore, the following research question under investigation is;

To what effect has the introduction of the poliomyelitis vaccination decreased the number of incidences of people affected in Pakistan?


Poliomyelitis, also known as polio, is a highly contagious disease that invades the nervous system causing disability, paralysis and death. Polio is spread through initial contact and enters the body through the mouth. Infection can be caused through saliva; sneezing coughing, kissing etc., and through fecal-oral transmission. This is contamination from food, water or objects with fecal bacteria if placed in the mouth. (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Polio can be contagious to people of all ages, although children under the age of 5 are most at risk, this is due to children having greater interactions than adults (World Health Organisation, 2019). The research was conducted to examine the quality of the vaccination and if its administration was beneficial to patients. Although despite the positive findings on the vaccine sources say otherwise. According to The Nation Centre for Biotechnology, the administration of the polio vaccination has plausibility of disease contraction (1994). Therefore, the research question will be examined to evaluate if the introduction of the polio vaccine has decreased incidences of people affected.


The success of the Polio vaccination in Pakistan

Poliomyelitis disease has been a highly active illness within Pakistan borders for more than 30 years. However, the implementation of immunization programs was only established in 1994 bringing about a significant rate of success in the decline of polio cases (World Health Organisation, 2019). Evidence can support this claim, as the BioMed Central for public Health has calculated an 82% decline in reported cases in 2016, from 306 confirmed cases in 2014. This evidence proves that the implementation of the vaccination programs has created a decrease in the number of incidences documented in young children. Further documentation over additional years showed an impact of change due to vaccines; with more than 30 million children receiving the vaccine in 2017, creating a 97% reduction in polio cases since 2014 (BMC Public Health, 2019). As shown in figure 1 below, there is still an active report of poliomyelitis cases in Pakistan as recent as 2016, with a sudden increase of incidences. Globally, Pakistan is one of the most significantly affected countries, suffering the outcomes of polio among young children. This is observable in figure 1 below with Pakistan having one of the highest rates of documented incidences in comparison to countries such as India and Afghanistan.

There is a consistency in the number of documented polio cases throughout the data above. Pakistan is one of the most prominent variables with continuous relapse of incidence growth. This relapse of documented cases has demonstrated a trend of the data with a pattern of constant increase and decrease over the years investigated. Pakistan is also a clear outlier within the graph as there is a significant increase in the first 5 years in comparison to the other variables. Therefore, this observable proof clearly demonstrates the severity of polio on Pakistan over the last 30 years and how the use of vaccinations has decreased the recognized incidences.

The failure of the polio vaccine in Pakistan

Mass vaccination programs for poliomyelitis are still in progress among Pakistan borders. Despite these programs being implemented, the disease is still highly active among the country with children still at a great risk of contamination. Statistics show there is still a number of reported cases being documented by the year with an increase of 58 cases in 2019 from 12 reports in 2018. Among the last week of August, 2019, five severe cases were recorded from Pakistan borders (Global eradication Initiative, 2019). This evidence can be supported from figure 2 below, as the World Health Organisation supports these claims. The data in the graph below shows that there was a record of 12 cases in 2018 with 45 and counting for 2019. This has further increased to 58, creating a significant difference from the last five years of data shown in the graph. Furthermore, previous years display this pattern with a decrease in cases in 2012 and 2013, to a significant outbreak of 306 documented cases in 2014. This pattern has further continued into ongoing years.

This information demonstrates the clear trends within the data as there are patterns of constant increases and decreases over the last 10 years of the recorded data. This shows that despite the vaccine being active, there is still a high risk of contamination to the polio disease. Further research was conducted to support the failure of the polio vaccination in Pakistan. An article was found with claims of 25,000 children rushed to hospitals after the spread of a false polio vaccine in early 2019. Due to Pakistan being a third-world country, the administration of a fake vaccination was introduced, causing conflict and doubt among Pakistan parents to get their children vaccinated (Joe Wallen, The Telegraph, 2019). Therefore, this observable proof clearly justifies the failure of the polio vaccination in Pakistan, justifying why it is still one of 3 remaining countries affected globally by the disease.


Throughout the conduction of this investigation task there was a variety of sources that supported the purpose of the original claim, ‘Mass vaccination programs are successful in the control of disease.’ The majority of sources were government and global organizations of health reporting on polio, with some contributing articles and journals. Due to the variation of sources, there is a range of reliability within the evidence used throughout the investigation task. Health organization websites were more reliable than published articles as they are supported by health and scientific professionals.

Improvements could have been implemented to better the overall task. This includes more information throughout the analysis of the investigation to further increase the reliability of the evidence. In addition, a refinement to the research question to further focus on who is effected; children under five years could have been improved and refined. Overall the task was relatable to the original claim, ‘mass vaccination programs are successful in control of disease,’ with thorough evidence and research conducted to support this and further answer the research question.


The use of mass vaccination programs have been implemented for the care of individuals and to further protect the global health from harmful diseases. The research evidence justified throughout this investigation has successfully supported and answered the original claim, as stated above. Furthermore, the research question, ‘To what affect has the introduction of the poliomyelitis vaccination decreased the number of incidences of people affected in Pakistan?’ has been concluded through thorough evidence and research. It was found that the introduction of the poliomyelitis vaccination drastically decreased reported cases in Pakistan and overall improved global health.


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  2. Mass Immunization – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (2019). Retrieved 3 September 2019, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/mass-immunization
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  5. Does polio still exist? Is it curable?. (2019). Retrieved 3 September 2019, from https://www.who.int/features/qa/07/en/
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  7. Mass Immunization – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (2019). Retrieved 9 September 2019, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/mass-immunization
  8. Committee, I., Stratton, K., Howe, C., & Richard B. Johnston, J. (2019). Polio Vaccines. Retrieved 3 September 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK236293/
  9. Joe Wallen. (2019). 25,000 children in Pakistan rushed to hospital after spread of false polio vaccine rumours. Retrieved 3 September 2019, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/25000-children-pakistan-rushed-hospital-spread-false-polio-vaccine/
  10. GPEI-This Week. (2019). Retrieved 3 September 2019, from http://polioeradication.org/polio-today/polio-now/this-week/


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