Polio vaccine shortage: A Reason to worry!!



Inactivated Polio Virus (IPV) injectable vaccine gives protection against all the 3 types of polioviruses. Withdrawal of trivalent oral Polio drops makes it mandatory to get 1 dose of inactivated Polio (IPV) injection at 14 weeks of age to get immunity against type 2 viruses. However, the primary series of vaccination is to be done with bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine drops which provide protection against type 1 and 3 type wild Polio-viruses.


IPV injection is not a new vaccine. Private practitioners were administering the IPV injections since long time ago but government has introduced it only in November last year. As a result of this, demand for IPV vaccine has shot up. Further increase in demand has also been observed, after the news of discovery of Vaccine derived Polioviruses type 2 in Hyderabad sewage drains, started rolling. Government announced massive vaccination drive and procured major share of IPV vaccine stocks. This has left the private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies with very less or no stock of vaccine.


Private practitioners are directing parents to go to government hospitals to vaccinate their children in the wake of scarcity of vaccine stocks. But, due to long wait time, less hygiene and other problems, parents hesitate to go there. In the event of this, immunity of kids is getting compromised and can indirectly affect the herd immunity for Polio. This may threaten the Polio free status of the whole country.


Vaccinebox  appeals all the parents to vaccinate their children for Polio injection and also the bivalent Oral Polio drops. The new Polio drops are absolutely safe and they provide superior mucosal immunity against polioviruses.


The government should also try to ensure that every child in India gets vaccine against this debilitating disease, which leaves the infected child paralyzed for life. The judicial distribution of vaccine stocks, careful wastage monitoring and use of efficient storage system should be practiced along with accurate demand forecast of vaccines to make vaccines  reach every child.