Polio vaccine: Risk of any child getting vaccine derived polio is practically nil, Health Ministry

The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, India, on Wednesday, October4, issued a statement in connection with the contaminated polio virus vaccine. Health ministry has stated, “No sample has tested positive for wild poliovirus in sewage or AFP cases since 2011. The country remains polio-free and this status has been maintained for more than seven years since the last wild poliovirus case in the country was reported in January 2011.”

Image source: Google
Image source: Google

The Union health ministry has increased the surveillance in those states where the polio vaccine was supplied by the Ghaziabad based company.

The Health ministry further states, to enhance immunity against type 2 poliovirus further, special mop-up rounds for administering IPV are being conducted in the specified areas to reach out to such children who may have missed IPV. This would provide immunity to all the children against all the three types of polio-virus including Type 2.

The statement says a team of MoHFW, DCGI, ICMR and WHO is continuously monitoring the situation.

As per the statement, on the investigation, it was found that in a few vials of bOPV supplied by one manufacturer, there were traces of P2 vaccine. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare taking WHO on board took immediate and comprehensive action. Following the report, the use of all the vaccine supplied by this manufacturer was immediately stopped in the country till investigation was completed.

The Drugs Controller General of India immediately filed an FIR and issued the notice to the company asking it to stop manufacturing and supplying till further orders. The MD of the company was immediately arrested.

The recipients of such vaccine will usually shed the vaccine virus through fecal route for about 4-6 weeks after which it will die down. In small areas where such vials were used, polio surveillance in the environment and through stool collection has been significantly enhanced by MoHFW, with support from WHO and partners to keep a constant vigil on the shedding of the polio vaccine virus.

In light of all the above facts and measures taken, the risk of any child getting vaccine derived polio disease is practically nil.