Study shows extra dose of inactivated polio vaccine boosts child immunity

A recent study revealed that giving children under five years of age an extra dose of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) helps to boost their immunity to poliovirus.

The research suggests that an extra dose should be added to vaccination programs in polio-endemic countries and those with a high risk of importing the disease, ScienceDaily reports.

"Adding a supplementary IPV dose to children already vaccinated with oral poliovirus vaccine may hasten polio eradication by boosting herd immunity in endemic regions, act as a booster to prevent international spread by travelers, and minimize the risk of polio outbreaks due to imported wildtype or vaccine-derived polioviruses," Jacob John, a doctor with Christian Medical College, India and the lead author of the study, said, according to ScienceDaily.

The study examined 450 children in Vellore, India who already received at least five doses of oral poliovirus vaccine. Half of the children were randomly selected to receive an additional IPV dose. The study showed that the extra dose significantly boosted levels of protective antibodies, ScienceDaily reports.

Mass vaccinations with the oral poliovirus vaccine led to the eradication of the disease in most parts of the world, although wild poliovirus remains endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Imported cases of the disease have led to large outbreaks in Africa, Asia and Europe.