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Oral Polio Vaccine

Why do volunteers continue to give children Polio drops, even though they have had the required three doses?

Every child during the first year of life should receive at least three routine doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OVP). However, OPV is not 100 per cent effective. Even children who have received all routine doses and pulse polio doses can get the disease. The only way to completely eliminate the risk of getting children paralysed by polio is to completely interrupt the circulation of wild poliovirus by administration of OPV to all under-five children over a few days and repeat it a few times each year.

Does the administering of OPV lead to impotence?

OPV is one of the safest vaccines and has been used for many decades. There is no evidence that OPV may lead to impotence.

Should OPV drops be given to newborn children?

OPV drops may also be given to newborn children, even if they were born only a few hours ago.

Should a child having diarrhoea or other sickness be given OPV drops?

OPV drops can also be given to children who have diarrhoea or other illnesses, as it usually does not react to other drugs or antibiotics.

Is there any difference in the vaccine if it is of a different colour?

Usually, the colour of an Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) is pink. However, sometimes the colour may also be yellow or white. All the vaccines are the same and this colour difference in no way affects the quality or type of vaccine.

Is there any problem with regard to the efficiency of the Polio vaccine in India?

The polio vaccine has gone through a rigorous process of testing by the WHO and the Government of India. There is no problem with the vaccine. However, sometimes, a drop in the efficacy, or effectiveness, of the vaccine may occur if it has not been maintained at the recommended temperature, as is the national protocol. The strict discipline and rigorous monitoring system built into the cold chain ensures that this does not happen.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on:10-02-2011