Up to 15 children died after receiving contaminated measles vaccines in a rebel-held area of northern Syria, an opposition watchdog said Tuesday.

wpid-polio-prevention-vaccines-opv-01.jpgAnother 50 children were hospitalized with symptoms of poisoning after receiving the vaccinations in the Maarat al-Nuaman area south of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Opposition news site Siraj Press said that the vaccination campaign was being carried out by the Assistance Coordination Unit, a humanitarian wing of the opposition National Coalition.

Syria’s vaccination programme has broken down in areas outside government control. Last year saw the country’s first polio outbreak in 14 years.

The UN children’s agency UNICEF says it has delivered millions of doses of polio vaccine to Syria since the outbreak and is working with local partners to ensure children receive it.



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