Two police officers protecting a polio vaccination team in Pakistan were shot dead, local authorities say. The two-person team of vaccinators were spared by the gunmen, who opened fire on the cops before fleeing on a motorcycle in Kot Azam, in northwest Pakistan. Polio vaccine teams have previously been targeted by anti-vaxx militants, some of which promulgate a conspiracy theory that the shots are really a Western plot to sterilize the world’s Muslims. Other anti-vaxxers in the region believe the life-saving vaccines contain pig fat and should therefore be prohibited under Islamic law. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries left in the world where polio—which can cause paralysis and even death in some cases—remains endemic. Public-health officials in New York have encouraged Americans to get vaccinated against the virus after an unvaccinated man was paralyzed by the virus in Rockland County in July.
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