Group Calls For Destruction Of 3.7 Million Vaccines After Protocol Breach, Or Else Pass Them On 'To Some Poorer Countries'

A healthcare lobby group recognized by the World Health Organization is calling for the destruction of 3.7 million polio vaccines that were donated. Reportedly, storage protocol was breached when the frozen vaccines were partially thawed during air transport from the manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, to the Ukraine and then re-frozen. The group, known as the All-Ukrainian Council for Patients Rights and Safety, states that the protocol violation makes these vaccines unsafe. The Ukrainian healthcare lobbying group states that protocol is there for a reason, and the process of thawing and refreezing that occurred to these vaccines contradicts national guidelines, according to the Guardian.

The World Health Organization officials, however, feel that the transport and refreezing process followed international practices, so despite national protocol, the vaccines should be used.

"We must absolutely destroy the vaccine, or pass it on to some poorer countries," the group's President Viktor Serdyuk said. "Good or bad -- it does not matter. We should vaccinate safely and according to the protocol."

Ukraine has the lowest vaccination rates in all of Europe, and fewer than 14 percent of all 1-year-old babies in the country have received a polio vaccine, according to UPI, which stated that many people in the Ukraine would rather their children not get vaccinated than use vaccines that the national guidelines considers potentially unsafe.

"The vaccinations are much more dangerous than the illnesses that they treat," Olga Makarenko told BBC News about the particular shipment of polio vaccines that entered the Ukraine. "Nobody knows how the vaccines were stored. No-one knows if the expiration dates were changed. Vaccines are a serious thing. There are conditions for transporting, storing and producing them."

"That's how it's been done all over the world," Dr. Dorit Nitzan told the Guardian, insisting it is normal practice. "I keep telling the investigators, 'These vaccines are the best you could have ever asked for... what more do you want?' But their view is that proper protocols must be followed. They just do that -- but they [have forgotten] about the children."

A report from the Guardian states that hundreds of people are believed to be carrying the virus, and passing on the polio vaccines could potentially cause an outbreak in the Ukraine, where less than half of all children are vaccinated against polio.

What's making matters worse is that recently, it was proven that a British man who was fully vaccinated against polio has been shedding the live poliovirus in his feces for nearly 30 years, due to an immune disorder causing a mishap in how the vaccine should have worked. The man's common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) allowed the virus to survive in his body for decades and morph into a strain that can actually cause paralysis. A team from the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control now fear that similar cases are out there. Any one of them, the researchers claim, could trigger another outbreak across Europe.

"What we see is the tip of the iceberg. When two cases are presenting there are usually at least 200 carriers behind each one," said Nitzan. "There is no doubt we will see more cases. The outbreak is here, and it's going to be huge – if nothing is done."

Bill Gates, a prominent campaigner for polio vaccines, actually called the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, in order to plead that the Ukraine accept and distribute the polio vaccines as is, even though the national protocol for vaccine storage was breached.

Some say that the group's demands are shedding light on a conspiracy of sorts. The deputy health minister Ihor Perehinets claims that the group is trying to eliminate international sourcing of the vaccines, because if the shipment is not used, new polio vaccines would have to be used through Ukraine's own procurement system.
"They are targeting the international organisations that provided vaccines as humanitarian assistance. Someone doesn't want to have procurement outsourced to international organisations – which are much more transparent while conducting procurement in Ukraine and abroad."
What do you think? Should the Ukraine accept the vaccine shipment even though it would go against national protocol or should they, like the group's president said, "pass it on to some poorer countries"?

[Photo via Pixabay]