23% of Infants Remain Non-immunized Against Polio in
Even though India was declared polio free, carelessness in administration of vaccines has sprouted some cases of the disease across the country. Paras Hospitals, Panchkula has surprisingly reported some negligence in the distribution of vaccines. Even though the population covered by the polio vaccine stands at 76%, 23% of infants of less than 14 months have not been vaccinated. Poliovirus especially attacks children and infants thus causing the infant to live a crippled life ahead. Examining the importance of polio vaccine Dr Jyoti Chawla, Senior consultant Pediatrics, Paras Bliss Panchkula says “Due to improving health infrastructure in our country, the availability of vaccines for polio are widespread. It is readily available and financially feasible. There have been numerous NGOs in Haryana itself who have taken the onus of this noble cause and administered vaccines for free under the guidelines of doctors. Polio vaccine should be given immediately after the neonate is born. Children should get four doses of the oral polio drops-2 months, 4 months, 6 months and a booster dose at 6-14 years. It is a virus that resides in the throat or the intestinal tract.”
Polio causesparalysis and this causes hindrance in our daily lifestyles. Unlike mostdiseases, polio can be completely eradicated. The intensive health care programto immunize children under the campaigns like “Do boond zindagi ke” have gainedmomentum and helped masses in understanding the gravity of the vaccine. Apoliovirus can hibernate in a human’s body for long stretches of time. But ifit doesn’t find an unvaccinated person, it would die out. Thus programs like MissionIndradhanush (the national immunization program) is aiding in eradicating thepolio virus and other diseases spread through viruses.
Busting some of the common myths against polio, Dr Jyoti Chawlaclarifies “Some people are of theopinion that one dosage of the polio vaccine is enough to prevent the attackfrom the virus. Even though there is no medical emergency regarding polio inthe state, poliovirus can be completely eliminated from the state. The GlobalPolio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) conducts regular surveillance against casesof polio virus. The polio vaccine doesn’t cause any side effects and isparticularly good in taste keeping in mind the infants and their tolerance.Another common myth associated with polio vaccine is that it causes impotencywhich is a ridiculous claim. The polio vaccine is the safest vaccine there is.”
WHO declared Indiapolio free in the year of 2014. The fight against polio began in the year 1976with the resolve to immunize children below 5 years for polio. The launch ofinactivated polio vaccine has further helped to give a boost to India’s fightagainst polio. The vaccine strengthens the immunity and prevents disabilityfrom occurring in children. Polio usually affects children who drinkcontaminated water that attacks the nervous system to cause paralysis. It isstill endemic in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is possible that thevirus re enters India. Hence immunization is of prime importance across statesin India.