Indian gov't withdraws "contaminated" polio vaccine, urges people not to panic

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-05 15:56:24|Editor: xuxin
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NEW DELHI, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Amid reports that some bivalent oral polio vaccines supplied by a particular company were found "not of standard quality," Indian authorities have stopped its usage and withdrawn the stocks, the health ministry said Friday.

"Use of bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine manufactured by this particular manufacturer has been stopped in the programme. All the stocks of the said manufacturer have been withdrawn," a health ministry spokesman said.

The ministry however said there was no need to panic and parents should get their children properly vaccinated.

"There are other bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine manufacturers who have also been providing the polio vaccine. The polio vaccines supplied by other manufacturers have been tested and conform to all the recommended standards," the spokesman said.

Reports said some batches of the oral vaccine were found contaminated with traces of Polio Virus Type 2 in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana.

The health ministry said the Indian government in consultation with World Health Organization has taken all measures to ensure that all vaccines used under the programme are totally safe and effective.

India continues to be polio-free for past more than seven years. However, since polio cases are still reported in a few neighboring countries, officials say India needs to maintain population immunity against polio to mitigate the risk of importation.

The government is providing Inactivated Polio Vaccine in addition to the bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine under its Universal immunization programme to provide double protection against the polio.