Home   »   UPSC Syllabus 2024   »   Polio Vaccine

Polio Vaccine

Context:  West Bengal government announced that it was introducing an additional dose of injectable polio vaccine as part of the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) for children.

About Polio Disease

  • Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious disease that is caused by the polio virus.
  • Virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route
  • Poliovirus can invade the central nervous system and as it multiplies, destroy the nerve cells that activate muscles, causing irreversible paralysis in hours.
  • There are three types of polio virus serotypes: types 1, 2 and 3.

Who is Most at Risk for Polio?

  • Poliovirus usually affects children under 5 years of age who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated.
  • The virus can also affect or be carried by adolescents and adults.
  • The child or individual suspected of polio may complain of sudden onset of weakness of arms and/or legs.
  • According to the India Polio Learning Exchange (along with UNICEF), of those paralysed, 5-10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilised.

Prevention of Polio

  • There is no cure for polio.
  • The disease can severely paralyze, or even kill, an infected child.
  • Polio can be prevented by immunizing a child with appropriate vaccination.
  • There are currently two effective polio vaccines:
    • Live attenuated oral polio vaccine (OPV).
    • Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV)
  • Oral polio vaccine is provided at birth, at six weeks, 10 weeks and at 14 weeks (a booster could be factored in at 16-24 months).
    • The injectable vaccine is given at six weeks, and then, another dose at 14 weeks.

India and Polio

  • In 2012, the WHO removed India from the list of endemic countries of Polio.
    • Vaccination in India: In India, two Polio Immunisation days are observed in the country each year and in some States, there are sub-national immunisation days, involving children under five years of age.
  • Case of West Bengal: Vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) was detected in the environmental surveillance of sewage samples from Kolkata.
    • An additional dose of inactivated poliovirus (IPV) at nine months will protect against any polio thereafter — Vaccine Associated Paralytic Polio or Vaccine Derived Polioviruses.
India and Polio
India and Polio

Global Polio Cases and Efforts

  • Wild poliovirus type 2 was globally eradicated in 1999, but vaccine virus type 2 continued for 16 more years.
  • No case of wild poliovirus type 3 has been found since the last reported case in Nigeria in November 2012.
  • As of October 2022, only two countries worldwide remain with indigenous transmission of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) — Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Though India has been certified “polio-free”, the risk of wild poliovirus importation or the emergence of vaccine-derived polioviruses persists.

Universal Immunization Programme (UIP)

  • It is implemented to provide vaccination to children against life threatening diseases such as Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, Measles, Rubella, Pneumonia and Meningitis caused by Haemophilus Influenzae B.
  • The Rotavirus vaccination has also been rolled out in the country for prevention of Rota-viral diarrhoea.
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) has been introduced in all the States and UTs.

Mission Indradhanush (MI)

  • It was launched to fully immunize more than 89 lakh children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated under UIP.
  • It provides vaccination against 12 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD) i.e. diphtheria, Whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, meningitis and pneumonia, Haemophilus influenzae type B infections, Japanese encephalitis (JE), rotavirus vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and measles-rubella (MR).
  • Under Mission Indradhanush, all vaccines under Universal Immunization Program (UIP) are provided as per National Immunization Schedule.

Sharing is caring!


what is Poliomyelitis?

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious disease that is caused by the polio virus.

Download your free content now!


We have received your details!

We'll share General Studies Study Material on your E-mail Id.

Download your free content now!

We have already received your details!

We'll share General Studies Study Material on your E-mail Id.

Incorrect details? Fill the form again here

General Studies PDF

Thank You, Your details have been submitted we will get back to you.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *