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Syria government vows to vaccinate all children

November 4, 2013
Associated Press

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has vowed that authorities will vaccinate all Syrian children after cases of polio emerged in the country's northeast.

Mekdad said the government will cooperate with U.N. agencies and aid groups to reach children, particularly those who live in rebel-held areas.

Mekdad's statements came days after the U.N. health agency confirmed 10 polio cases in northeast Syria, the first confirmed outbreak of the disease in the country in 14 years, raising a risk of it spreading. The confirmed cases are among babies and toddlers, all under 2, who were "under-immunized," according to the World Health Organization.

He didn't say when the vaccination campaign would occur, or how it would reach rebel-held areas.

Mekdad spoke Monday at a press conference in the Syrian capital Damascus.



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