AGRA: After the detection of at least three batches of polio vaccines containing 1.5 lakh vials contaminated with type 2 polio virus, the health department has started providing inactive polio vaccine (IPV) injection to children here. Most of the contaminated vials were sent to Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana. Around 1.10 lakh children were administered the contaminated polio drops in Agra district. According to health department officials, these cases are under surveillance.
The step was taken after central government ordered that the vials of vaccine manufactured by a Ghaziabad-based pharma company should not be used. “The contamination can have very serious ramifications on public health because it is tantamount to reintroducing into the community a virus that had been eradicated,” an official had said earlier.
The state health department has sounded an alert in the districts where batch number B100318, B200318 and B010418 polio vaccines were supplied. These districts include Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Mainpuri, Etah, Aligarh, Hathras and others.
Chief medical officer Mukesh Kumar Vats said, “On suspicion of contamination in oral polio vaccine, we have started providing children IPV injections to prevent the infection from spreading. Officials have been directed to ensure no use of oral polio vaccine. Around 1.10 lakh children up to two years of age who were recently provided the substandard vaccine are being monitored. So far, no case of P2 polio virus infection has been detected. As many as 46,000 dozes of vaccine have been seized.”
In Agra district, 101 places have been marked as “high risk” category. During polio eradication campaign, oral vaccine was administered to round 7.60 lakh children in rural and urban areas.
According to district immunization office records, some of the city areas included in the “high risk” category are Shankar colony, Dhol Basti, Nagla Devjeet, Nunihai and Kargil locality. Out of the 695 gram panchayats in the district, 95 have been listed in the “high risk” category. Maximum number of these are in Bah block.
It is learnt that the district health department is facing a shortage of IPV to prevent children from getting infected by P2 polio virus. The district vaccine centre had only 50 IPV dozes left on Saturday. The immunization office has sent an urgent demand for IPV supply.