Thursday, 21 January 2016

The IMA Polio Vaccine Switch Awareness Campaign

The IMA Polio Vaccine Switch Awareness Campaign

Dear Colleague

A lot of progress has been made in the global efforts in achieving a polio-free world. The remaining two polio endemic countries are Afghanistan and Pakistan. But more needs to be done before polio can be eradicated from the world.

Replacing trivalent OPV with bivalent OPV is a significant step in polio eradication. The currently used OPV contains all thee polio serotypes - type 1, 2 and 3 and its use has led to the eradication of wild poliovirus type 2. The switch from tOPV to bOPV removes the type 2 component (OPV2) from the vaccine. April being the ‘low’ season for poliovirus transmission in many countries with endemic polio or recent polio cases has been chosen as the target date for the switch to bOPV in all OPV using countries. The switch from trivalent to bivalent vaccine has to be globally synchronized to minimize the risk of new cVDPV type 2 emergence.

India has been polio-free for five years and the government also plans to switch to bOPV as part of the global polio eradication initiative.

April 25, 2016 has been designated as the National Switch Day, when tOPV would be completely withdrawn and replaced by bOPV in both routine immunization and polio campaigns. And, the country would be declared free of tOPV on 9th May, 2016, National Validation Day. tOPV would not be available after 1st April 2016. bOPV would be made available two weeks before the switch date in private market. But, it is not to be opened or used before the switch date.

We request all our members to join hands with the government in its efforts for global eradication of polio and support this initiative.

Please share this information with all your colleagues so that every member of the fraternity is aware of this very important information.

Let us work together to make our world, a polio-free world…

Dr SS Agarwal                                                                                       Dr KK Aggarwal

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