Nigeria parents risk jail for skipping polio shots

By the Associated Press | July 29, 2011 | 10:59 AM EDT

KANO, Nigeria (AP) — Officials in northern Nigeria say parents who do not allow their children to be vaccinated against polio now risk jail time for defying a government order.

The Kano state government says parents who prevent their children from getting immunized during the four-day campaign will face prosecution.

The campaign is targeting about 6 million children in the state, which recently recorded new polio cases.

Polio is largely eradicated in most of the world, but the vaccine has been met with resistance in Nigeria's impoverished north.

One 45-year-old local politician told The Associated Press on Friday that he would not allow his three young children to be immunized, saying he is skeptical of the vaccine.