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In Syria, one new type 2 circulating vaccine-derived polio (cVDPV2) case has been reported this week.  The case was reported in Mayadeen district, Deir Ez-Zor governorate, and had onset on 19 August. At the time of infection, the child was 19 months old, and no history of polio vaccination.

Syria Image/CIA

The bulk of all cases continue to be from Mayadeen, the epicentre of this outbreak.

This increases the current number of cases in this outbreak to 48.

In addition, the World Health Organization has received reports of an attack on medical facilities in eastern Syrian Arab Republic that has destroyed the only vaccines cold room in al-Mayadeen district, Deir Ezzor Governorate.

More than 100,000 doses of measles vaccines and 35,000 doses of polio vaccines were stored in these facilities, alongside equipment, syringes, and stocks for all vaccine-preventable childhood diseases.

“WHO has made strenuous efforts in cooperation with health authorities to deliver vaccines to protect the children living in these areas from disease,” said Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in the Syrian Arab Republic. “We unequivocally condemn these actions. Vaccines are not a legitimate target of war.”

“Until a new cold room is built and the required cold chain equipment — including solar fridges, cold boxes and vaccine carriers — are delivered, this will delay the implementation of routine immunization for vulnerable children in the area,” Hoff added.