Indian Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shri J.P. Nadda, announced Dec. 21 that an inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is widely available in India and around the world.
The vaccine, which contains live but inactive antibodies that trigger an immune response in those receiving the vaccine, is one of the most recent treatments against polio.
While polio has been eradicated in many countries and regions around the world, the disease still affects India, Southeast Asia, and surrounding areas. Affecting primarily children, the disease affects the spinal cord and surrounding and supporting muscle of infant and young children.
With this additional vaccine now available, protection of children in susceptible regions has increased, as has awareness of the existence and effects of the disease.
Awareness, diagnosis and early and aggressive treatment are key elements in continuing to eradicate polio. This initiative, and those similar to it worldwide, continue to make inroads against polio.
In addition to medical intervention and scientific advancements, grassroots awareness initiatives and continually increasing access to health care are critical preventive measures necessary to control and continue to eradicate polio. Efforts of this type should not be limited to India, Nadda said, but “worldwide efforts are required for continued health.”