The first Sub-National Immunization Day for 2022 for administering Polio vaccine drops is being conducted from Sunday in 11 states/ UTs of the country viz. Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.
During this Polio campaign, around 3.9 crore children less than 5 years of age are targeted to be given polio drops through booth, house-to-house, mobile and transit teams. To provide additional protection to children, Government of India has also introduced the injectable Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine into its routine immunization program.
India, along with 10 other countries in the South-East Asia Region of WHO, was certified polio-free on 27th March 2014. The last case of polio in the country was reported on 13th January 2011 from Howrah, West Bengal.
Globally, polio is still endemic in two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Though India has been certified “polio-free”, the risk of wild poliovirus importation or the emergence of vaccine-derived polioviruses persists until global eradication, which highlights the need for maintaining high population immunity and sensitive surveillance in the country.
While India is making efforts to protect its children from more and more Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPDs) by introducing additional vaccines under the Universal Immunization Program (UIP), it is important that all vaccines also reach every last child in the country.
The lessons learned and systems created under the National Polio Program are being used to strengthen routine immunization and achieve more than 90% full immunization coverage.
State Governments and organizations like WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and other partners have played a significant role not only in polio eradication but also in improving routine immunization initiatives. All parents are urged to get their children, less than 5 years of age, vaccinated against Polio.