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India considers new polio vaccine, kindling debate on strategy

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2809 (Published 01 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2809
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

    India’s health ministry is evaluating a proposal to introduce the injectable polio vaccine next year in one region of India, questioning for the first time its three decade policy of using only oral vaccines to eradicate polio.

    The India Expert Advisory Group on Polio Eradication has recommended adding the injectable vaccine to existing oral vaccine campaigns in the nine worst affected districts of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

    The group, a panel of experts from India, the World Health Organization, and other agencies, has advised that two campaigns be run, six months apart, in which the injectable vaccine is given to children aged between 3 months and 24 months.

    India accounted for 874 of the total of 1208 polio cases last year in the four countries with endemic polio (the others being Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan). Despite numerous campaigns with the oral vaccine, polio has persisted in the states of …

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