Monday, July 9, 2012

When is a vaccine not a vaccine?

I posted last year about the CIA's use of a fake vaccination campaign in an attempt to verify the identity of Osama bin Laden. A very bizarre story.

In the months before Osama bin Laden was killed, the Central Intelligence Agency ran a phony vaccination program in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as a ruse to obtain DNA evidence from members of Bin Laden’s family thought to be holed up in an expansive compound there, according to an American official. 

One of the oddest parts about this story is that they didn't use the correct vaccination schedule.  They gave inadequate doses of the vaccine, leaving behind kids whose parents thought they were protected from Hepatitis B, but who were, in fact, not.

This year the Taliban have banned a Polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan in protest against both drone strikes and also from fear that the campaign could be used for further CIA espionage activities. Until last year this would have sounded a little paranoid...

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