Actor Fawad Khan rejects reports of denying polio vaccine to daughter

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Award-winning Pakistani actor, model and singer Fawad Khan, along with five others, on Wednesday was booked for refusing polio vaccination drops for his children, according to local media reports.

According to the details, the first information report (FIR) against the actor has been registered at Faisal Town police station.

Soon after the incident, Focal Person to the Prime Minister on Polio Eradication, Babar Atta, tweeted that not only Fawad’s driver but his family also misbehaved with the polio team.

One user asked why Fawad had refused the drops for his daughter to which the focal person offered some details.

I have been told that respectable Mrs Fawad thinks getting their daughter immunised from UK will give the child protection against WPV1 strain. Protection against Wild Poliovirus can only be guaranteed with Oral Polio Vaccine. https://t.co/h12Cws8JiN

— Babar Atta (@babarbinatta) February 20, 2019

However, according to a statement released by the actor, he is not present in the country and is a supporter of the anti-polio drive.

“It has been widely reported that an FIR has been registered against Fawad Khan, stating that he on the 19th of February interfered with governmental efforts to vaccinate his daughter at his residence,” the statement reads.

“Nothing could be further from the truth as neither of the parents were home at the time of the visit by the anti-polio team. Fawad Khan has been outside Pakistan since February 13. He performed at the PSL opening ceremony in Dubai and is presently in the United States (US). His travel history clearly demonstrates the manufactured nature of the FIR and he has just come to know of the FIR through the press,” it further adds.

“Fawad Khan fully supports the anti-polio drive and is very well aware of the guidelines of WHO and CDC. The vaccination of Fawad’s daughter is up to date and the record to support the same is also available. Fawad reserves the right for appropriate legal redress including all such remedies against any damages caused by this event, should the FIR not be cancelled,” the statement concludes.

In response, Babar Atta offered an explanation as well.

On the bright side, Babar while tweeting that the teams had been humiliated by Fawad’s staff, added that the situation would be handled in a polite manner as there was no reason to be uncivil and all would end well once the family returns.

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling childhood disease caused by the poliovirus and preventable through immunisation. The disease usually affects children under the age of five and can only be prevented by giving a child multiple vaccine doses, or it can lead to irreversible paralysis.

Country-wide anti-polio eradication as launched in the country on January 21. More than 39 million children under the age of five will receive two drops of the vaccine which will protect them against the poliovirus. At least 260,000 polio workers and more than 31,000 teams are participating in the drive across the country.

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