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Posted on Oct 27, 08:13AM | UNI
Pediatricians across India have favoured the protective efficacy of sequential administration of Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV) and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to achieve the status of Polio Free India in 2014.
Talking to reporters here this afternoon, Dr Deepak Shivpuri, Senior Consultant and Head Of Department, Pediatrics and Neonatology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur, said, "India, having gone more than one year without reporting any case of wild poliovirus, has officially been struck off the list of polio-endemic countries by the World Health Organization (WHO) since February this year." This is considered one of India's greatest public health, Dr Shivpuri said adding India had not reported a single case of polio since 2011 and will need to maintain this record until 2014 to be granted Polio-Free status.
A country needs to have reported no cases of Polio for at least three years before the World Health Organization (WHO) can grant it Polio-Free status. Barring India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, all other countries around the world are Polio-Free.
He said, "Polio is a communicable disease caused by the Polio virus that attacks nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord and infants, develop neurological complications, likes stiffness of the neck and back, weak muscles, pain in the joints, and paralysis of one or more limbs or respiratory muscles." "There are three prevalent forms of poliovirus that is type 1 (PV1), type 2 (PV2) and type 3 (PV3). Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) which uses the live attenuated polio virus has been used in polio eradication efforts since the beginning of the programme and has successfully led to the elimination of the virus from the country but carries the risk of Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Polio (VAPP) and Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) which is unacceptable in the current scenario." He elaborated saying the sequential usage of an IPV and OPV schedule did offer double protection as IPV did not contain a 'live' virus thus eliminating the risk of VAPP.
"Public health experts also estimate 100-180 children in India develop VAPP each year, a rare but serious side effect of the OPV they had received to protect them from the wild poliovirus," he pointed out.