Even as the state Family Welfare Department gears up for an immunisation drive on July 27, the incidence of polio infection among children is rising even after being administered five to eight rounds of vaccine.
After reports of such cases from Mainpuri, Shahjahanpur and Gonda district, a similar case came to light in the Kanpur district on Saturday. One-year-old Sabri, a resident of Madari Gheda village, got the infection despite getting eight doses of the vaccine.
District Health Department officials said Sabri had been infected by the P3 strain of virus. Chief Medical Officer S.K. Tiwari went to the village to examine all children since a fresh polio case had been reported in the district after gap of six years. “Action against erring health officials would be taken if any negligence were detected,” Tiwari said.
In 2005-06 when polio cases touched the 300 mark, then health minister Ahmed Hasan had raised doubts over the quality of the vaccine. Hasan said the state government would send the sample of the vaccine for laboratory tests.
Later UNICEF and WHO representatives told the state government that they’ve conducted laboratory tests and the polio vaccine wasn’t defective and that it had provided good results in other states. WHO regional coordinator S.K. Pathyarch told the Hindustan Times that the vaccine doesn’t provide cent per cent protection from the disease. “The effectiveness of the vaccine is only 70 per cent. It develops the immunity system of the body to fight against the virus. Other factors too come into play if the child was in grip of a disease, suffering from anaemia and weak immunity,” he said.
Director General Family Welfare M.L. Khatloiya said the department has decided to organise a routine immunisation programme along with the polio immunisation programme.