Health workers have found 205 children infected with polio in Indonesia since the disease resurfaced this year, and two of the cases are in the densely populated capital, Jakarta, officials said Monday.
Polio, a waterborne disease that can cause irreversible paralysis in hours, reemerged in May in the world's fourth-most-populous country, which had been polio-free since 1995.
Two rounds of immunization were carried out in May and June, targeting 6 million children younger than 5 in West Java, Banten and Jakarta provinces.
The first round exceeded the target, but the second missed thousands of children. Media reports said some children died after receiving the oral polio drops, causing many fearful parents to resist the treatment. Officials insisted the vaccine was not the cause of the deaths.
"Mothers got worried, so they decided not to bring their children to get immunization. We missed 700,000 on the second round," said Nyoman Kandun, who heads the Health Ministry's disease control center.
The Health Ministry has decided to launch a nationwide immunization drive on Aug. 30, to be followed by another round on Sept. 27. The drive will target 24.3 million children.
The World Health Organization has said the polio virus was able to spread because of poor health services in some parts of Indonesia, and it warned that the coming wet season might exacerbate the situation.