With the emergence of vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV) cases in the country, the central government is considering the introduction of an injectable vaccine called inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which contains a strain of the virus that has been killed, along with the oral polio vaccine (OPV).
Four VDPV cases have been reported in India so far this year.
Experts said that despite India being polio-free for more than two years now, children are getting infected with the poliovirus — the only difference is that the virus affecting them is vaccine derived, not wild (the one found in the environment).
Vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) are rare strains of poliovirus that have genetically mutated from the strain contained in the oral vaccine.
“The point of being polio-free is that there are zero polio cases in the community. You cannot have children getting infected with a vaccine-derived virus, hence it is better to have the IPV, which does not cause the disease,” said Dr Nitin Shah, paediatrician, PD Hinduja.