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The measles campaign was organized by the Syrian opposition forces - the so-called interim government, created by the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces.
“UNICEF and WHO have been shocked and saddened to learn of the deaths of at least 15 young children in Idlib, Syria. The deaths of the children occurred in areas where a measles immunisation campaign had been under way,” the statement says.
“For as long as the facts remain unclear, the suspension of the immunisation campaign in both Idlib and Deir Ezzour provinces is a wise step,” the statement says.
According to the WHO and UNICEF, “However, it is vital that immunisation efforts against measles - a disease which is a leading killer of children worldwide - resume as soon as possible. Measles is a particular threat to children who have been displaced from their homes and communities, and who are living in camps or other insanitary conditions.”
The Al Mayadeen TV channel claimed that not 15, but 40 children that were under two years of age, died, developing severe poisoning symptoms following the immunisation shot.