UP govt reluctant on use of injectible polio vaccine

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Lucknow, Nov 20 (UNI) Fearing resistance from minority community already witnessed during oral application of polio drops, Uttar Pradesh has expresed its reluctance to the use of injectible polio vaccines in nine districts of the state.

In view of the 498 cases of polio being reported in the country despite the pulse polio campaign, the Centre has planned to introduce Injectible Polio Vaccine (IPV) in nine polio endemic districts of UP to contain the crippling disease.

It was being done after India Advisory Group on Polio recommended the use of IPV in UP in the first phase in view of the high prevalence of polio there. Of the 498 cases reported this year, majority were from UP and Bihar alone, while the small number were from Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal, according to the official figures available at Union Health Ministry.

The nine districts of UP having the maximum incidence of P1 polio virus infection are Moradabad, Badaun, Rampur, Bijnore, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Jyotiba Phule Nagar.

These districts are mainly minority-dominated and there was a stiff resistence from them on administration of polio drops.

UP government, though, is also shocked at the increasing number of fresh polio cases, mostly from these districts. ''We are concerned about the incidence of polio cases despite the pulse polio oral drops campaign and plans to intensify it, but IPV is not in our plan of things at the moment,'' UP health department sources told UNI.

They said the use of IPV was not a very practical idea since it was not possible to have hundred per cent succes of oral polio drops administration. ''We have opposed it about a year ago also and would be reluctant on this even now,''sources added.

Most of the polio cases reported this year had already been given polio drops due to which the impact of the disease was not very severe in these children. However, since disease occurred despite being given polio drops, the decision to use Injectible polio vaccine was taken.

Sources said the issue would be taken up with the Union Health Ministry and the objection would be filed against use of IPV.

UNI SB JAS AKJ BD1535

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