Israel on Monday launches a mass campaign in the south of the country to vaccinate 200,000 children up to nine years old against polio, Health Minister Yael German said.
"The decision to proceed with a vaccination campaign was taken after it was found that between 1,000 and 2,000 people living in southern Israel are carriers of the virus, without themselves being sick," she told Channel 2 television.
"We have already ordered 500,000 doses of vaccine from abroad and are ready to order 500,000 more if necessary in the coming weeks," German said.
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She said the entire population could be vaccinated if the measures taken in the south do not prevent polio cases from appearing elsewhere.
The vaccine -- in the form of two drops administered orally on the tongue -- will be made available at 1,000 pharmacies.
Channel 2 also reported that a World Health Organisation representative will be involved in the vaccination campaign.
Media reports said the polio virus had been detected in sewage at communities in the south.