“Doctor, bacche ko polio ki khurakh dena zaroori hain kya?”
This commonly asked question by parents always takes me down the memory lane of my internship in KEM Hospital.
Internship is the phase between a student and complete responsibility.
This is the time, a doctor is exposed to the vagaries of clinical life.
During my student days, I had read about the countrywide campaign in India against polio.
As a result, I was shocked to hear about the misconceptions regarding polio vaccine in society.
Just to clear a few which I heard since then,
If my child has taken routine immunisation, pulse polio is not needed.
Pulse Polio doses are additional doses given on national immunisation days, in addition to routine vaccination doses of polio.
It should not be given to male children as it causes sterility.
Polio drops are given in the mouth from which they enter they gastrointestinal tract and are excreted through stools. There is no portal for entry into the genito-urinary tract where sperm are produced.
Myth 3 –
Since there has been no case of polio in India since January 2011, polio is no longer necessary.
WHO has removed India from endemic countries in February 2012, but some of our neighbouring countries are still endemic for polio. Continued polio vaccination helps protect us from any transmission from these countries.
Our next pulse polio day in Mumbai is on 5 th August 2018.
Pulse polio drops are available in all government and state run hospitals, some schools, railways stations and many more designated polio booths by the government.
Hopefully, with all our misconceptions cleared, all children under 5 years of age will get administered with the vaccine and will make the pulse polio campaign a big success.
Aaya polio ravivar…”Chalo pee le, do boond zindagi ke”
References- IAP(Indian Academy of Pediatrics) Guidebook on Immunization 2013-14 by Advisory Committee on Vaccines & Immunization Practices(ACVIP)