How has the Polio situation improved after vaccination?
In pre-vaccination era, 1 in every 200 children used to be affected by Polio. Vaccination has helped immensely to reduce the cases and even eradicate Polio altogether from major parts of the world. World Health Organization (WHO) has certified India as a Polio free nation on March 27, 2014.
Why is Polio considered a serious disease?
Polio causes permanent paralysis in the infected young children. Most polio-infected people (~ 90%) have no symptoms. They are just carriers. Others, 10% will have initial symptoms of fever, fatigue, vomiting, headache, stiffness in neck and limbs pain, finally leading to paralysis. Polio is a debilitating disease which has no cure at all. Heat and physical therapy, along with antispasmodic drugs are used to alleviate the symptoms, but nothing can reverse the permanent polio paralysis. Prevention is the only savior. Hence, the Polio vaccine is mandatory for all children below 5 years.
Why is Polio vaccine mandatory even after eradication of Polio?
In India, Polio has been eradicated. The risk of Polio outbreaks is still looming because of neighboring Polio affected countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan. Polio vaccination drive is essential to curb the circulation of wild polio virus between boundaries. This needs to be done till Polio disease is eradicated from the whole planet. Polio vaccine is mandatory for all children below 5 years in all Polio affected countries as well as their neighboring countries.