CIA: No more vaccination campaigns in spy operations

After the CIA used a vaccination initiative as a cover for military operations in Pakistan, concerns in the global health community prompted 12 U.S. public health school deans to write President Obama in protest. As a result, Lisa Monaco, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, responded with a promise to eliminate the use of vaccination campaigns as a guise for military missions.

Despite the promise from the White House, "the damage already exists,” InterAction President and CEO Sam Worthington said. “We need unequivocal understanding that there will not be the use of vaccination or any humanitarian intervention [in the guise of intelligence], as it puts the lives of both humanitarians and those they serve at risk.” The unsuccessful operation, which attempted to obtain DNA from Osama bin Laden's relatives, forced many health organizations to remove programs and personnel from Pakistan, though 83 new polio cases were reported there last year.