WHO plays down risk to Indian children from tainted polio va
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that there was minimal risk of children contracting the polio virus in India from a tainted batch of vaccines.

The public health scare, which potentially affected thousands of children, put a renewed spotlight on lax pharmaceutical quality control procedures in India.

The latest concerns emerged over the weekend after vaccines produced by privately-held Bio-Med Pvt Ltd and distributed as part of a free government drive to eradicate polio were found to have a strain of the virus that had been eradicated around the world and phased out of vaccines.

The contaminated vaccines, were allegedly administered in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana. The contamination was first suspected when surveillance reports from UP revealed signs of virus in stool samples of some children. Later the oral polio vaccines (OPV) were sent for testing, which confirmed that some of them were contaminated with type-2 virus.

Swinging into action, the union health ministry had set up a three-member committee to probe if the virus, which was officially eradicated in India in March 2014, has resurrected with the three batches of polio vaccines containing 1.5 lakh vials. Routine testing revealed it had made and shipped some 150,000 lots of oral polio vaccines.

However Shamila Sharma, a spokeswoman for the WHO, said any risk to children was "minimal" due to the high routine polio immunization coverage in India. The WHO funds and supports India's polio-control programme.

Health officials in New Delhi said they were investigating why and how Bio-Med was still producing such vaccines, and that the affected lots were being recalled. The Indian government had ordered this type of vaccine to be discontinued in 2016.

Know more here: https://in.reuters.com/article/india-health-polio/who-plays-down-risk-to-indian-children-from-tainted-polio-vaccine-idINKCN1MB3GM
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