In­ac­ti­vated Po­lio Vac­cine (IPV) in rou­tine im­mu­niza­tion sched­ule launched

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

The Min­istry of Health in line with the Global Po­lio Endgame Strat­egy 20132018 in­tro­duced one dose of In­ac­ti­vated Po­lio Vac­cine in na­tion­wide (IPV) yesterday.

Ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease from the Min­istry of health in ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing oral po­lio vac­cine (OPV) into rou­tine im­mu­niza­tion pro­gram at 14weeks af­ter the birth is to pro­vide best pro­tec­tion against po­lio but IPV is con- sidered to be very safe whether given alone or given in com­bi­na­tion with other vac­cines.

The Di­rec­tor of Depart­ment of Public Health from Min­istry of Heath , Dr. Pandup Tsh­er­ing said that, po­lio is one of the most de­bil­i­tat­ing in­fec­tious dis­eases to af­fect hu­man caus­ing both mor­tal­ity and ir­re­versible paral­y­sis among those af­fected.

He added that Global Po­lio Erad­i­ca­tion Ini­tia­tive to de­velop a po­lio erad­i­ca­tion and end game strate­gic plan which was en­dorsed by the WHO mem­ber states at the World Health Assem­bly in 2013.

He said that Bhutan has ini­ti­ated num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties for po­lio erad­i­ca­tion and the vac­ci­na­tion against po­lio was started in 1979 as part of the ex­panded pro­gram on im­mu­niza­tion.

While the last case of po­lio was re­ported in Bhutan in 1986, two years be­fore the launch Global Po­lio Erad­i­ca­tion Ini­tia­tive (GPEI) and thus de­mon­strat­ing the suc­cess of the pro­gram, he added.

The Min­istry of Health also took cau­tion­ary mea­sures to pre­vent im­por­ta­tion of po­lio by man­dat­ing po­lio im­mu­niza­tion for all Bhutanese peo­ple trav­el­ling on pil­grim­age to Bod­hgaya, Bi­har (In­dia) and to other po­lio en­demic and high risk coun­tries, said the Di­rec­tor.

He added that till date, no re­ports of vac­cine as­so­ci­ated par­a­lytic po­liomyeli­tis (VAPP) and Vac­cine De­rived Po­liovirus (VDPV) has been re­ported in Bhutan.

He also added that, the in­ac­ti­vated po­lio vac­cine will be in­tro­duced through­out the coun­try in all im­mu­niza­tion cen­ters from now on­wards with­out hav­ing to pay and will be given at 14 weeks af­ter birth along with third dose of Pen­tava­lent.

The rea­son for giv­ing this vac­cine at 14 weeks is that it is proven to im­muno­genic­ity is higher af­ter 14 weeks due to re­duc­tion in ma­ter­nal an­ti­bod­ies which oth­er­wise would in­ter­fere with im­muno­genic­ity and giv­ing at 14 weeks also im­mu­nizes the ben­e­fit in pro­tect­ing chil­dren against type two virus af­ter OPV two ces­sa­tion, said the Di­rec­tor.

Ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease, Po­liomyeli­tis (po­lio) is an acute com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­ease of hu­mans caused by po­liovirus serotypes one, two or three. In the pre vac­cine pe­riod that is be­fore 1960, vir­tu­ally all chil­dren be­came in­fected. In less than one per­cent of those in­fected it caused acute flac­cid paral­y­sis (AFP), com­monly with per­sis­tent se­que­lae. Case fatality rates among par­a­lytic cases ranged from five per­cent to 10 per­cent in chil­dren and from 15 per­cent to 30 per­cent in ado­les­cents and adults.

In 1988 the World Health Assem­bly re­solved to erad­i­cate po­liomyeli­tis glob­ally and the Global Po­lio Erad­ica-

tion Ini­tia­tive (GPEI) was es­tab­lished, stated the press re­lease.

It fur­ther stated that, Bhutan started vac­ci­na­tion against Po­lio with the launch of ex­panded Pro­gram on Im­mu­niza­tion (EPI) in 1979, since the in­cep­tion of planned eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. In 1961, Royal Gov­ern­ment of Bhutan was able to pro­vide ef­fec­tive and eq­ui­table health ser­vices through the Pri­mary Health Care Ap­proach (PHC).

The last case of po­lio was re­ported in 1986 two years be­fore the ini­ti­a­tion of Global Po­lio Erad­i­ca­tion ini­tia­tive (GPEI) and Bhutan has achieved Uni­ver­sal Child Im­mu­niza­tion (UCI) in 1991 and rou­tine im­mu­niza­tion cov­er­age for 3rd dose of OPV at 14 weeks age of the child, which is a mea­sure of ef­fec­tive Po­lio vac­ci­na­tion, has been con­sis­tently over 95per­cent.

While, Bhutan was cer­ti­fied Po­lio free on 27th March, 2014, when the re­gion was de­clared po­lio free by WHO. Now, Bhutan will be con­tin­u­ing to mon­i­tor Po­lio cases through Acute Flac­cid paral­y­sis (AFP) sur­veil­lance till po­lio is glob­ally erad­i­cated.

With the launch­ing of In­ac­ti­vated Po­lio Vac­cine (IPV), the coun­try en­sures that Bhutan will joins in the global drive to erad­i­cate Po­lio from the world.

Mean­while, be­fore the in­tro­duc­tion of the vac­cine, they have trained all the health staffs in­volved in im­mu­niza­tion on in­tro­duc­tion of IPV and also de­vel­oped and dis­trib­uted health in­for­ma­tion ma­te­ri­als for par­ents and health work­ers to all health cen­ters.

It was launched by the Min­is­ter of Health, Ly­onpo Tandin Wangchuk which was tech­ni­cally sup­ported by WHO, UNICEF and the GAVI at the Com­mu­nity Health Depart­ment at JDWNRH.

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