WHO Found Contaminated Polio Vaccine Vials in India

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Created by Parentune Support
Updated on Oct 03, 2018

WHO Found Contaminated Polio Vaccine Vials in India
Reviewed by Expert panel

What comes as a shocking news is that WHO (The World Health Organisation) has found at least 3 batches of polio vaccines consisting of 1.5 lakh polio vials contaminated with Type 3 polio virus. Unfortunately, some vials of the contaminated polio vaccines were administered to children in Maharashtra, Telangana and some parts of Uttar Pradesh. The vaccine had been manufactured by a pharmaceutical firm Biomed Pvt. Ltd in Ghaziabad. This now puts a reverse gear to the entire effort put by the nation to declare ourselves 'Polio Free'.

WHO on Contamination in Polio Vaccines

WHO said that there was ‘minimal risk of children contracting the polio virus in India’ from a tainted batch of vaccines, as reported by Reuters on 1st Oct, 2018. At least three batches of polio vaccines which has around 1.5 lakh vials have been found contaminated. These vaccinations have been given to children in Maharashtra, Telangana and some parts of Uttar Pradesh. The agencies are keeping a close eye upon the symptoms in the children who have been vaccinated in the recent past to be able to deal with the situation.

Government has also set up a committee to probe the contamination of the vaccine in the current batches which are yet to be administered.

What is Polio?

Polio is a disease that has caused paralysis in millions of children worldwide over the years. A virus that lives in the throat and intestinal tract causes polio. It is spread mainly through contact with the feces of an infected person (for instance, by changing diapers).

Some children who get polio don’t fall ill at all. Others have the symptoms of a common cold, sometimes accompanied by pain and stiffness in the neck, back and legs. But some children get severe muscle pain, and within a week can be paralyzed — in other words, loose the use of their muscles. Usually paralysis affects a child’s legs, but it can also affect other muscles, including those that control breathing. Know : Next Polio Drop Dates Schedule 2019

Polio Symptoms & Proximity

Depending on the sites of paralysis, polio can be classified as spinal, bulbar, or spino-bulbar disease. Progression to maximum paralysis is rapid (2–4 days), is usually associated with fever and muscle pain, and rarely continues after the patient’s temperature has returned to normal.

Spinal paralysis - is typically asymmetric and more severe proximally than distally. Deep tendon reflexes are absent or diminished. Bulbar paralysis can compromise respiration and swallowing.

Paralytic polio - is fatal in 2%–10% of cases. After the acute episode, many patients recover at least some muscle function and prognosis for recovery can usually be established within 6 months after on set of paralytic manifestations.

There is no treatment for polio, and some children die from it. The incubation period for poliomyelitis is commonly 6 to 20 days with a range of 3 to 35 days.

Types of Polio Vaccine

Polio vaccine is of following kind, suggest go through...

1.) A live attenuated (weakened) oral polio vaccine (OPV) - OPV is given orally.

2.) An inactivated (killed) polio vaccine (IPV) - Unlike OPV, IPV has to be injected by a trained health worker.


Both vaccines are highly effective against all three types of poliovirus. There are, however, significant differences in the way each vaccine works.



The action of oral polio vaccine (OPV) is two-pronged: OPV produces antibodies in the blood ('humoral' or serum immunity) to all three types of poliovirus. In the event of infection, this will protect the individual against polio paralysis by preventing the spread of poliovirus to the nervous system. OPV also produces a local immune response in the lining ('mucous membrane') of the intestines - the primary site for poliovirus multiplication. The antibodies limit the multiplication of 'wild' (naturally occurring) virus inside the gut, preventing effective infection. This intestinal immune response to OPV is probably the main reason why mass campaigns with OPV can rapidly stop person-to-person transmission of wild poliovirus.

Advantages of Oral Polio Vaccine:

OPV is an orally applicable vaccine. It does not have to be administered by a trained health worker, can be given by volunteers, and - unlike most other vaccines - does not require sterile injection equipment.

The short-term shedding of vaccine virus in the stools of recently immunized children means that in areas where hygiene and sanitation are poor - and the incidence of polio is likely to be highest - immunization with OPV can result in the 'passive' immunization of persons within close contact. As discussed above, the unique ability of OPV to induce intestinal, local immunity is probably responsible for the extraordinary effect of OPV mass campaigns in interrupting wild poliovirus transmission ( Pulse Polio ). Due to these advantages, OPV remains the vaccine of choice for the eradication of polio, which would not be feasible with inactivated polio vaccine (IPV).

Disadvantages of Oral Polio Vaccine

Although OPV is safe and effective, in extremely rare cases (approx. 1 in every 2.5 million doses of the vaccine) the live attenuated vaccine virus in OPV can cause paralysis - either in the vaccinated child, or in a close contact. Immune deficiency of the recipient may be among the causes. This extremely low risk of Vaccine Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis (VAPP) is well known to, and accepted by most public health programs in the world because without OPV, hundreds of thousands of children would be crippled every year. Immunization programs in countries where the risk of wild-virus caused polio has come down to zero are now considering combined immunization schedules using both OPV and IPV.

Rarely, a strain of poliovirus in OPV may genetically change and circulate among a population. These are known as vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPV) and knowledge on them is growing.



Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) needs to be injected and works by producing protective antibodies in the blood (serum immunity) thus preventing the spread of poliovirus to the central nervous system. However, it induces only very low levels of immunity to polivirus locally, inside the gut. As a result, it provides individual protection against polio paralysis but, unlike OPV, cannot prevent the spread of wild polio virus. READ: Know Causes of Diarrhoea, Treatment & Prevention Tips in kids

Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) Advantages:

IPV is not a 'live' vaccine - the polio virus is inactivated - and immunization with IPV carries no risk of vaccine-associated polio paralysis. Immunization with IPV triggers an excellent response of the immune system in most IPV recipients.

Disadvantages of Inactivated Polio (IPV) Vaccine:

Unlike the oral vaccine, IPV confers only very little immunity in the intestinal tract. When a person immunized with IPV is infected with wild poliovirus, virus can still multiply inside the intestines and be shed in stools, risking continued circulation. For this reason, OPV is the vaccine of choice wherever a polio outbreak needs to be contained, even in countries which rely exclusively on IPV for their routine immunization programme. Other disadvantages of IPV include the price, the cost of the syringe, and the need for trained health workers to administer the vaccine using sterile injection procedures.


OPV Dosage & Administration:

2 drops (0.1 ml) of the vaccine is administered orally to small child starting from 10 days of birth. and is given 3 times at an interval of 1-2 months. The fourth dose at 15 to 18 months of age. The fifth dose to be given at 5yrs of age. IPV: Shake the pre-filled syringe well to uniformly distribute the solution before Administration. A primary series of Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccine consists of three 0.5 ml doses administered subcutaneously (can be given IM also). Do not inject intravenously. The interval between the first two doses should be at least four weeks, but preferably eight weeks. The third dose should follow at least six months but preferably 12 months later. Alternatively, three doses of 0.5 mL may be administered at intervals of 8 weeks, followed by a Fourth dose of 0.5 mL approximately 12 months after the third dose. All children who received a primary series of IPV or a combination of IPV and OPV, should be given a booster dose at age 4 - 6 years For children who began their polio immunization series in a country where OPV is used, immunization may be completed using IPV; there is no need to re-start the series. Conversely, children who have been started on an immunization series with IPV and who move to an area where OPV is used may receive the necessary doses of OPV to complete their series. For unimmunized adults at increased risk, primary immunization with IPV is recommended as two doses given at an interval of 4 to 8 weeks with a further dose 6 months to 1 year later. Travelers who will be departing within 4 weeks should receive a single dose of IPV and the remaining doses later, at the recommended intervals.


OPV-IPV Vaccine Schedule Week on Week:

Here is the IPV OPV vaccines weeks/months/years doases with few suggestions or precautionary notes..

Age Vaccines Any Notes
Birth OPV zero n/a
6 Weeks OPV-1 + IPV-1 / OPV -1 OPV alone if IPV cannot be given
10 Weeks OPV-2 + IPV-2 / OPV-2 OPV alone if IPV cannot be given
14 Weeks OPV-3 + IPV-3 / OPV -3 OPV alone if IPV cannot be given
15-10 Months OPV-4 + IPV-B1 / OPV -4 OPV alone if IPV cannot be given
5 Years OPV -5 n/a


  1. We should continue to use OPV till we achieve polio eradication in India. IPV can be used additionally for individual protection.

  2. OPV must be given to children less than 5 years of age at the time of each supplementary immunisation activity.


Polio Contradictions & Precautions:

These people should not get OPV, read on...

  1. Anyone who is taking long-term steroids or any other drug that affects the immune system.
  2. Anyone who has cancer or is getting chemotherapy.
  3. Anyone who has AIDS or HIV infection, or another disease that affects the immune system.


Should not get OPV:

If anyone in these three groups will be changing a child’s diapers or be in close contact with a child getting polio vaccine, that child should not get OPV. A baby should not get OPV if someone who will be in close contact with the baby (for instance changing diapers) has never had any kind of polio vaccine. Anyone who has had a severe allergic reaction to a dose of OPV should not get another dose.

These people should wait:

Anyone who is moderately or severely ill at the time the immunization is scheduled should usually wait until they recover before getting OPV. People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. Ask your health care provider for more information.

IPV: Immunization with Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccine should be deferred in the presence of any acute illness, including febrile illness, to avoid superimposing adverse effects from the vaccine on the underlying illness or mistakenly identifying a manifestation of the underlying illness as a complication of vaccine use. A minor illness such as mild upper respiratory infection is not reason to defer immunization. Allergy to any component of Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccine, or its container, or an anaphylactic or other allergic reaction to a previous dose of IPV is a contraindication to vaccination.

Disclaimer: This blog is for information sharing only & in no way of a prescriptive nature. Parents should consult the Doctor before opting out for any vaccination for their child at all times.

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| May 23, 2013

very informative... But few months back i was in Mumbai n there almost every month volunteers came 4 polio drops... According 2 this blog they r not required.. Did i get it rite or mistaken

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| Jul 02, 2018

when is the polio drop

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| Mar 04, 2022

WHO has confirmed that positive samples of polio vaccine have been found in India. Polio is a potentially life-threatening disease that mainly affects children, with an average age of around the age of five years. Should you can get stamped concrete patio builders in syracuse to learn more new ways about the constructions. It is caused by a virus and takes a few years before symptoms start appearing. Infected children then need to be admitted to hospital before they get better.

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