Vaccines

Nigeria administers polio vaccines at military checkpoints

In this photo taken on  Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 health officials administers polio vaccine to children at a camp for people displaced by Islamist Extremist in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Sunday Aug. 28, 2016. Health workers using military helicopters, all-terrain vehicles and tricycle taxis vaccinated hundreds of thousands of children this week, fighting the return of crippling polio in areas newly freed from Boko Haram extremists who violently oppose Western medicine. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

In this photo taken on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 health officials administers polio vaccine to children at a camp for people displaced by Islamist Extremist in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Sunday Aug. 28, 2016. Health workers using military helicopters, all-terrain vehicles and tricycle taxis vaccinated hundreds of thousands of children this week, fighting the return of crippling polio in areas newly freed from Boko Haram extremists who violently oppose Western medicine. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Health officials in eastern Nigeria say they have started to administer polio vaccines to children at military checkpoints in an attempt to stop the spread of the crippling disease.

Abdullahi Hammandikko, a vaccination team leader in Taraba state, says up to 80 children are being vaccinated per day at one of the checkpoints.

Nigeria was declared polio-free last year, but two new cases were discovered last month among refugees in areas recently reclaimed from the extremist group Boko Haram. A third case was confirmed this month.

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Officials have noted scattered resistance to the vaccinations by some parents, but Hammandikko says those stopped at checkpoints are cooperating.

Dr. Innocent Vakai, Taraba's health commissioner, says anyone refusing the vaccination could be asked to leave the state.