Monday February 18, 2019

India introduces injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine

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By Nithin Sridhar

Health Minister JP Nadda launched India’s first injectable inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) on Monday. This marks the beginning of the shift from purely orally administered polio-vaccines or Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV) to a combination of dosages of OPV’s and IPV’s.

This is indeed a welcome move in the global fight against polio eradication.

One of the major disadvantages of OPV usage is that there is a chance that it leads to vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP). Studies have shown that one child out of every 2.4 million dosages of OPVs administered will suffer from VAPP.

This disadvantage can be overcome by the administration of IPV dosages. IPV was developed by Dr. Jonas Salk in 1955. IPVs consist of killed poliovirus strains (as against live attenuated polioviruses in OPVs) of all three poliovirus types which are then used as vaccines. Hence, they produce antibodies in the blood that provide immunity against all three poliovirus types resulting in protection against VAPPS as well. Further, IPVs are considered very safe and efficient and there are no major side-effects.

This is not to say that, IPVs have no disadvantage. For a long time, polio eradication programs were using OPVs alone because IPVs were observed to be weak in providing intestinal immunity. Hence, if a person immunized with IPV becomes infected with wild poliovirus, then the virus can still multiply inside the intestine and come out in the feces resulting in its continued circulation. But, a recent study shows that, when IPV is used in combination with OPV dosages, then IPVs will boost intestinal immunity.

Thus, World Health Organization (WHO) no longer recommends OPV alone vaccination against polio. It recommends usage of at least one dose of IPV in countries which is using OPV only vaccinations. In polio endemic countries, it recommends usage of 1 OPV birth dosage, 3 OPV dosages and 1 IPV dosage. In countries with high immunization cover and low chances of importation of wild polio viruses, but with a significant VAPP concern, WHO recommends an IPV–OPV sequential schedule. It recommends IPV only vaccination only in those countries which have low importation as well as transmission risks along with very high immunization coverage.

Hence, India’s move in introducing IPVs is in sync with WHO recommendations. This step will go a long way in preventing VAPP and ensuring complete polio eradication from the world.

(Photo: www.erewise.com)

Next Story

Afghan Public Health Ministry Launches Polio Vaccination Campaign

The ongoing insurgency and conflicts have been hindering government efforts to curb the infectious disease.

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FILE - Health official administers a polio vaccine to a child in Kawo Kano, Nigeria.VOA

The Afghan Public Health Ministry on Monday launched a polio vaccination campaign in 179 high-risk districts.

The campaign will cover 5.4 million children under five years, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying.

Polio
A health worker gives polio vaccine to a girl in Lahore, Pakistan. VOA

The campaign will continue till January 25 in the west, central and southeast regions and from January 28 to February 1 in the south and the east regions.

Also Read: Afghanistan Elections Conclude, IEC Criticized For Mismanagement

The ongoing insurgency and conflicts have been hindering government efforts to curb the infectious disease in the war-torn country as more than 20 polio cases were detected in 2018.  (VOA)