Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 2:
Children in Odisha will be administered polio vaccine through injections from October this year. However, administration of polio vaccine drops orally would also continue, official sources said.
Since there were reports of some cases of infection in children after being administered oral polio drops, it has been planned to administer polio vaccine through injections along with the existing oral administration to cut down on such incidents, according to Director Health and Family Welfare Dr Nirmala Dei.
“Though such cases are rare, they do exist. Just one case of infection has been noticed in about 27 lakh children administered polio drops. The Central government has decided to take no chances and to administer children with inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). IPV provides serum immunity to all three types of poliovirus, resulting in protection against paralytic poliomyelitis,” Dr Dei said.
Children in the age group of 0-1 yr will be administered this vaccine, she said adding those already on oral polio drops will be required to take the vaccine through injections in their third dose.
“Currently, oral polio drops are being given for three varieties of polio. It has been planned to stop the type II variety and the other two types in the future. However, the consignment of the vaccine is yet to reach the Central government. In case the vaccine does not arrive by October, its administration through injections could be delayed. The programme will be implemented with assistance from World Health Organization,” she said.
After 2011 no case of polio has been noticed in the country. But prevalence of polio continues in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.
Dr Dei revealed it has also been planned to administer pentavalent vaccine to children. The vaccine works as a preventive against five diseases.
“Earlier, children were being administered DPT (diphtheria, pertussis -whooping cough and tetanus). However, pentavalent vaccine is five individual vaccines combined in one, which is intended to actively protect infant children from five potentially deadly diseases: Haemophilus Influenza type B (the bacteria that causes meningitis, pneumonia and otitis), Whooping Cough (or Pertussis), Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Diphtheria. This vaccine will protect children from two more diseases in addition to the ones covered by DPT vaccine,” she said.
Earlier, only parents in affluent families could afford pentavalent vaccine for their children. Now, the government will provide the vaccine free of cost to all children, revealed Dr Dei adding the Hepatitis B vaccine will be given separately to contain the spread of Hepatitis.