February 28, 2023

What does Give Polio The Finger mean?

Polio vaccinators paint the little finger of the left hand with a purple dye to indicate that someone has received the oral polio vaccine (OPV). This is done as part of a global effort to eradicate polio, a highly infectious disease that can cause permanent paralysis and even death.  Purple ink on the pinkie finger tells both volunteers and the child’s neighborhood that one more person is safe from the horror of polio.

When a child or adult receives the OPV, the vaccinator dips a cotton swab into a vial of purple dye and marks the person’s finger with a dot. The dye is harmless and fades away over a few days. The purple mark is a way to help health workers quickly identify people who have been vaccinated and those who have not. It’s particularly helpful in places where vaccine records are not easily accessible, or where there may be language barriers or other challenges that make it difficult to track who has been vaccinated.

It is more than a way to identify who has been immunized. It is a symbol of defiance against a crippling disease and a symbol of hope for a polio free world. No one is safe until all are safe. Polio has been reduced by 99%. We are closer than ever to ending this crippling disease forever. For as little as 60 cents, a child can be vaccinated against polio for life.

You can follow the continued efforts of Rotary International’s End Polio Now efforts on this site and at EndPolio.org

Although these apparel items were originally sold through GivePolioTheFinger.org, they are no longer available.  If you are interested in using the GPTF logo for your own Rotary fundraiser, contact us and we’ll send you the file and you can use your own printer. 

The GPTF logo is not approved by Rotary International and you should not use the Rotary Masterbrand or Mark of Excellence in conjunction with the logo. 

Support polio vaccines for children

Please consider contributing to Rotary’s PolioPlus Fund, and have your donation matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Your donation helps us reach vulnerable children with the polio vaccine and other essential health services.

By PDG Scott McLaughlin

District Governor 2019-2020
PDG Scott is currently serving as an Assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 29 (Region 36). Scott is a member of the Paul Harris Society and Major Donor.Scott is a Rotarian in the Kearney Dawn Rotary Club of Kearney, NE

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