The government on Saturday said that it plans to switch to bivalent oral polio vaccine from its present trivalent version in “some months” even as President Pranab Mukherjee launched the country-wide
The government on Saturday said that it plans to switch to bivalent oral polio vaccine from its present trivalent version in “some months” even as President Pranab Mukherjee launched the country-wide Pulse Polio programme for 2016 on the eve of National Immunisation Day.
Union health minister J.P. Nadda said that the switch will be done in a globally-synchronised manner. Trivalent OPV contains live and weakened versions for all the three types (1, 2 and 3) of wild polio while the bivalent vaccine will contain type 1 and 3. Type 2 of wild polio virus has been eradicated worldwide long time back. “We are also planning for switch from trivalent OPV to bivalent OPV in some months in a globally synchronised manner,” Mr Nadda said.
“Polio-free status for five years is a treasure for all of us. India has been now validated for Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus elimination in May 2015 well before the global target date of December 2015.”
“This is a monumental achievement in the country’s efforts to achieve universal healthcare.”
The health minister noted that to provide double protection to children and securing gains of polio eradication, government has introduced the IPV into its routine immunisation program along with oral polio vaccine.
Mr Nadda said that as polio is now endemic in only Afghanistan and Pakistan, the world is at the last stage of polio eradication.
“In order to mitigate the risk of importation, the immunity against polio infection is maintained through National and Sub National Polio rounds along with sustained high quality polio surveillance.
“We are vigilant and that is the reason we are conducting continuous polio vaccination at the international borders with India,” the Health Minister said.