Inactivated polio vaccine: Time to introduce it in India’s national immunization schedule

 Abstract

Polio is a communicable disease caused by poliovirus that may attack nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord. The victims develop neurological complications, likes stiffness of the neck, muscular weakness, or paralysis of one or more limbs. In severe cases, it may be fatal due to respiratory paralysis. The world has seen tremendous gains in polio eradication over the past year. India and Nigeria saw a reduction in cases of almost 95% from 2009 to 2010, and cases of wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) fell by 92% globally over the same period. In fact, no case has been reported in India since February 2011, such that India may be on the verge of eradicating polio. Nevertheless, polio control experts are particularly worried about Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus (VDPV). Global surveillance efforts picked up 430 cases of VDPV from several countries between July 2009 and March 2011. In India, 7 cases of VDPV were reported during the year 2011. As long as OPV is used, virologists say that the world is at risk of VDPV causing polio in unprotected children. Achieving a polio-free world will require the “cessation of all OPV” and with it the elimination of the risk of vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) or VDPV infections. To this effect, in 2011 the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) will produce and develop a new roadmap for VDPV Elimination. Several countries have shifted from all OPV to sequential OPV-IPV schedules and all-IPV schedules with elimination of live poliovirus. IPV will be indispensable in the post-eradication era when use of OPV has to stop but “vaccination against polio” cannot stop. IPV offers complete individual protection and has been considered as an additional tool at present for those who can afford the vaccine, and since we are nearing the eradication of polio, it is time to shift from OPV to sequential OPV-IPV schedule in India. Such a strategy will avoid inevitable problems with VAPP.

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Pages
956 - 958
doi
10.4161/hv.20089
Type
Commentary
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Inactivated polio vaccine: Time to introduce it in India’s national immunization schedule