The first consignment of ShanIPV, inactivated polio vaccine in the inactive form, manufactured by Shantha Biotechnics, a Hyderabad-based biotechnology firm, will be made in a few days now. The company is affiliated to Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi. The first few doses of this vaccine will be made available for administration of one dose in the immunisation chart for all infants in India as per the recommendation of the World Health Assembly in May 2015.
It was launched on Monday by J.P. Nadda, Health Minister, as a part of India’s foresight of global eradication of polio.
The minister also made an announcement that the IPV injection will be administered to infants below one year of age. It will as well be accompanied by a third dose of OPV, an oral vaccine for free at the immunisation centres.
The health minister said, “At this momentous milestone, India remains committed to global polio eradication. India is introducing IPV into its routine immunisation programme along with oral polio vaccine,”
The introduction of the vaccine will be accomplished phase-wise of which the first phase targets Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.
Studies have revealed that the combination of OPV and IPV can boost up children’s’ immunity against polio causing agents. This indeed offers protection of a much higher order.
India was free from Polio right in the year 2014. Nadda also said, “IPV will roll out to 126 countries which are only using OPV in the national programme, and it will be the largest and fastest globally-coordinated vaccine introduction project in history,”
On the occasion of the launch of the vaccine, Director-general of Health Services (DGHS), Jagdish Prasad and Additional health Secretary, C.K. Mishra was also present.
UNICEF representative t India, Louis-Georges Arsenault, introduced IPV into India’s immunization programme, thus making it much stronger and also termed it a “monumental step”.