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India remains polio free, all vaccines used in govt immunisation prog safe: UNICEF, WHO

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

In the backdrop of some oral vials being found contaminated with the type-2 virus, the UNICEF and the WHO Thursday reiterated India's status as a polio-free country.

In a joint statement issued Thursday, the (UNICEF) and the World Organization (WHO) said the risk of children getting derived was "minimal" in because of a high routine immunisation coverage in the country.

The two global agencies also asserted that all vaccines provided under the Universal Programme (UIP) are safe and urged people to get their children vaccinated not only for their protection but also to keep Indian free.

"Certified polio-free in March 2014, continues to remain vigilant against all three types of polioviruses. The case due to wild in the country was detected on 13 January 2011," the statement said.

It stated that type 2 containing has been phased out globally, and in India, in April 2016, as a part of the polio endgame strategy.

Like in other countries, bivalent oral (bOPV) has replaced the trivalent OPV (tOPV) in all polio campaigns and routine immunisation in

As advised by the India Expert Advisory Group, the country continues to conduct mass campaigns against polio, using bivalent oral (bOPV), to maintain high immunity.

Referring to the recent incident in which type 2 was found in some sewage and stool samples, the organisations said that detection of the virus demonstrates a surveillance system jointly managed by the ministry, the WHO and partners.

A team of Indian Council of Medical Research, of India and Ministry of investigated the matter.

"A few vials of bOPV, supplied by one manufacturer in India, were found to contain traces of Type 2 The took immediate and decisive action withdrawing the vaccine supplied by this manufacturer from all states that it was supplied to.

"Despite the risk of vaccine derived polio being minimal, the immediate withdrawal of these vaccines demonstrates the commitment of the government to the health of children," the statement stated.

"In view of high routine coverage being achieved in India under Universal Programme (UIP), the risk of children getting vaccine derived poliovirus is minimal," the statement added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, October 11 2018. 15:56 IST