Children in Madhya Pradesh will now be administered an injection of polio vaccine along with the third dose of oral polio vaccine (OPV) as part of the national polio vaccination programme.
Madhya Pradesh is one of the six states to be chosen for the first phase of introduction of injectable inactivated polio virus (IPV) vaccine along with OPV to provide dual protection to children against polio virus.
The programme was launched on Monday in Bhopal by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The chief minister handed over IPV injections to parents of five children from Kolar, Banganga and Sunkhedi localities.
IPV vaccine is being introduced in 126 countries, including India, on the call of World Health Organization (WHO).
The vaccine will be administered to newborns at the age of 14 weeks (three and half months) along with the third dose of OPV. In case of delay, the vaccine can be administered within one year of age, a government release said. The IPV is said to be safe and free of side-effects.
The other five states where the vaccine is being introduced in the first phase are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Punjab and Assam.
Though India became polio-free from March 27, 2014, but polio cases are still appearing in neighbouring countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria). Danger of polio exists in India due to arrival of people from these countries. Therefore, resurfacing of polio can be effectively prevented through dual security of IPV and OPV, the release said. This vaccine is being made available free of cost at all government health centres and anganwadis in the state.