Distrust of polio vaccine plagues Afghanistan

Many parents in rural areas suspect that polio vaccines are used for spying or contain questionable ingredients.

The Taliban will not target a new vaccination campaign in Afghanistan, according to tribal chiefs and clerics.

However, distrust of the vaccination programme remains rife among the populace and could hinder efforts to eradicate the disease.

After a fake polio vaccination programme was used as cover to search for Osama bin Laden in neighbouring Pakistan, rumours in Afghanistan began to spread that the vaccination is used for spying and that the ingredients are not halal.

In the end, the fake programme may have dealt real harm to Afghanistan’s battle against polio.


Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley reports from Kabul.