Polio vaccine contamination: A matter of concern?

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You may have heard the news about Polio vaccine contamination with Polio type 2 strain. In this article we will provide you all the information related to this matter. Also, we will clear that is it a matter of concern and how should you deal with it.

Polio eradication movement:

World Health Organization (WHO) started a Poliomyelitis eradication movement in 1988. It aims a complete and permanent elimination of all cases of Polio virus infection around the globe.

Globally, Wild Polio virus type 2 strains were officially eradicated in September, 2016. It concluded into the Global Commission for the certification (GCC) for Poliomyelitis eradication.

Know all about Polio vaccine in our article “What is Polio vaccination?

What was the risk?

There was cases of Vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) found due to Type 2 strain. It means Polio is caused by a strain of polio virus that has genetically changed in the intestine from the original attenuated vaccine strain contained in OPV.

Cases of VAPP happens when polio vaccine itself is the cause of poliomyelitis paralysis in children. This happens approximately 1 in 2.7 million doses of OPV as per WHO.

Vaccination is a method of administering an antigen called vaccine to develop acquired immunity against the particular pathogen. Vaccination is an prevention system to any disease caused by an antibody like bacterium, virus, prion or other micro organism. Its completely safe and effective method of prevention against infectious diseases.

What is the recent Polio contamination?

Due to above reasons it was eradicated in 2016. But, in India the virus was found in the stool sample of children which shows that it was already available in the market. This vaccine was manufactured in a company called Biomed in Ghaziabad which is situated near the capital of India.

As per media reports, this company is supplying Polio vaccine to the Indian Government body since 1995.

The story started when it was identified in a child in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh, when the child was feeling paralytic condition in legs. The child has been given the OPV two days ago.While doing lab testing, in stool sample Type 2 strain was identified.

Then Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) checked the samples of OPV from the Biomed company. CDSCO took immediate action and  sent the samples to the Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) at Kausali ( situated in Himachal Pradesh) for testing where the presence of Type 2 strain was confirmed.

Action taken:

On Friday, 28 Sep 2018, MD of the Biomed company was arrested and other suspects are also under investigation.

Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) in Kasauli was asked to test for type 2 strain in all the batches of polio vaccines by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

What should you do?

I agree that it’s a matter of concern about availability of Polio type 2 strain after eradication. However, In the current situation don’t trust on virul social media messages. Do not panic with the situation and wait till any confirmation from the government body of India. We will also provide you updates.

I hope this article gives you a clear idea about what happens in last week.

Let us know your comments in box below and let us know, what is your opinion in this matter.

Image: Konnie Huq in Lucknow by JeanMarc Giboux at flickr


Vinay Dubey

A Health care professional and Pharmacologist with an aim of sharing my knowledge about health and lifestyle to everyone. Specially, I want to empower people from non medical background, with the knowledge that how daily lifestyle and medicines can affects their health. Also, to let them know how they can play an important role in the life cycle of a medicine.

1 Comment

  1. Yes…need to wait till futher offical update

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