yesterday I had the luck and the privilege to take my kid to a good doctor who practices distancing, to get her oral polio vaccine drops (OPV) during a checkup. Since the pandemic began, Pakistan (and Afghanistan) have largely wound up their widespread vaccination program.
That's led to what appears to be an increased prevalence of polio incidents in both countries, where there was already problems of parents refusing to allow their children to get the vaccine.
Still, before the pandemic, most children in Pakistan got the OPV (including my kid) multiple times a year. As far as I understand, that's because of the high prevalence of diarrhea here means the kids aren't always absorbing the drops.
It's hard to feel nostalgic while watching your kid shriek in anger as a doctor holds her face and forces her to take drops, but here we are. I feel grateful that we could afford to take our daughter and get her drops safely administered.
But this isn't about feeling grateful, it's about the fact that tens of millions of kids across South Asia without means are missing out on routine vaccinations, like for polio and measles, and that may have dire consequences as this pandemic continues.
And that's a public health and safety problem too. I really hope public health specialists can figure out how to safely continue widespread vaccinations.

(Khatam: My kid got TWO lollies from the doctor as a reward. That's how we invest in the dental industry!)
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