New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) Expressing concern over the increase in polio cases in the country, the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) has recommended a new vaccination strategy, in which injectable polio vaccines will be given to children along with oral drops to prevent the crippling disease.
The new strategy should be adopted in the immunisation schedule, 2008, as 486 polio cases had already been reported till date this year in the country, IAP said here.
Moreover, the recent outbreaks of polio cases in Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, apart from the already endemic states of UP and Bihar have cast doubts as to why children are getting infected by the virus despite having being taken oral vaccine multiple times.
The IAP's Community On Immunisation (IAPCOI) has stressed the need to offer Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV) in addition to oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) to all children, who can afford it at the age of 6, 10, 14 weeks, followed by a booster at 15-18 months.
The IAP has suggested it due to better immune response, overall safety and efficacy record of the IPV, as observed in many developed countries like the US.
"Polio eradication in India is at the cross roads and a highly sensitive issue, Only a combination of the OPV and IPV can ensure the best of protection to an individual and the community alongside the national immunisation policies, which the OPV alone has not been able to provide at least in India,'' said Nitin K Shah, Co-chairperson, IAP Polio Eradication Committee.
According to the WHO, a nation cannot be declared polio-free unless there are no fresh cases reported for 3 consecutive years.
Already the polio eradication deadline has been extended thrice by over eight years, but still shows no signs of bringing the disease to a standstill. Despite 13 years of Polio immunisation programme, 486 cases had been reported and disease is still found in 87 districts of the country.
Of late, it has been seen that higher dosage of the OPV has not been able to provide adequate protection due to poor uptake in patients with intestinal infections and diarrhea.
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