The Lahore district administration on Wednesday registered first information reports against six people, including actor Fawad Khan, for allegedly refusing to allow polio vaccination teams to immunise their children. The FIR was filed based on a complaint of a union council monitoring officer, Dawn reported.
The officer said that a polio vaccination team reached the actor’s residence in Lahore’s Model Town area on Tuesday evening. Khan’s home has one child eligible for vaccination, but “the head of the family has been refusing to have the children vaccinated against polio and has been threatening the polio team with serious consequences”, he said.
Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication Babar Bin Atta said that according to the deputy commissioner of Lahore, the teams wanted to immunise Fawad’s daughter. “First his driver misbehaved with the teams, then his family,” Atta tweeted. “Fawad is our pride, I request him to allow teams to vaccinate the child. Lahore has had a polio case last week, we must protect the child.”
“I have been told that Respectable Mrs Fawad thinks getting their daughter immunised from the United Kingdom will give the child protection against WPV1 strain,” he added. “Protection against Wild Poliovirus can only be guaranteed with Oral Polio Vaccine.”
The official also endorsed a tweet by Islamabad Deputy Commissioner of Police Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat that the polio vaccine has no side effects.
However, Khan denied that he refused to let polio drops be administered to his daughter. His manager issued a statement saying that neither Fawad nor his wife Sadaf Khan were at home when the polio team visited. The actor and his wife have been abroad since February 13, the statement read.
“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 said. The statement said that Fawad Khan fully supports the anti-polio campaign and is “very well aware” of the guidelines of international organisations about the disease. It added that Fawad Khan’s daughter has been vaccinated on schedule.
A three-day polio immunisation campaign began in Pakistan on February 18, The Express Tribune reported. The virus is still endemic in 10 cities in the country, as well as in some towns and villages.