News of contamination of polio vaccines emerged, The media reports claimed that about three batches or 1.5 lakh vials of the vaccine were found contaminated with type 2 polio virus.
This further means that children born after 2016 are not immune to polio. These vaccines were made by the Ghaziabad-based company Biomed.
The Indian Health Ministry announced on Wednesday, 3 October, that they have increased surveillance in the states of Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, reportedly. The ministry is backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in these efforts.
The incident was discovered when stool samples from Allahabad tested positive of type-2 polio virus.
“Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted by person-to-person, and spreads mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (e.g. contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.”
The symptoms of the disease include fever, fatigue and pain in the limbs, among others. In rare cases, polio can also lead to permanent paralysis. There’s no known cure for the disease and vaccination and immunisation is the only way of safeguarding ourselves against it, adds WHO.
“Cases of polio have gone down by 99 percent since 1988 from 3,50,000 cases to 22 reported cases in 2017 ” Source: WHO
Intense and timely vaccination of the disease has played a major role in combating it.
Dr Jyoti Joshi, South Asia Head of Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), describes the oral polio vaccine (OPV) as “a live vaccine with weakened polio viruses capable of eliciting a protective antibody response but not enough to cause the disease.
There are 3 types of Polio viruses-type 1,2 and 3, but after the elimination of the type -2 virus, from April 2016, the entire world is currently using only a bivalent OPV which has type 1 and 3 only.”
Contamination of Polio Vaccines
No one knows what happened in this particular case of vaccine contamination, but has it left the population exposed to polio?>