Polio was once the country’s nightmare as it was the leading cause of disability in India. India has taken several measures to eradicate polio and has finally been successful for the last 5 years. However, it is still prevalent in some developing countries and unless it is eradicated worldwide, the risk still exists. For this reason, polio vaccination is still recommended for your child's immunisation program. At Apollo Clinic, we strive to ensure that your child is healthy. Providing oral polio vaccine is one step in this direction.
What is polio?
Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus that lives in the throat and intestinal tract. The polio virus enters through your mouth and ends up in the nervous system. It can rapidly lead to paralysis and sometimes even death. Polio mainly affects children under the age of 5. Older people with weakened immune systems are also at risk. It is a common belief that polio affects only the lower socio-economic group. However, this is untrue; all children are equally at risk. There is no cure for polio. The best way to protect your child is by ensuring that they get immunised with the polio vaccine at the right time.
What is Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV)?
The Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) is a live but weakened form of the virus that makes the body produce antibodies against it without developing a disease. The OPV is administered in the body as oral drops and helps protect both the child and those living around.
OPVs are inexpensive, safe and offer long lasting protection against the virus. As the polio vaccine is administered orally, it is much easier and does not require specialised health professionals or equipment. The OPV can be given if your baby has fever or diarrhoea, however, do consult your doctor.
Some parents have concerns regarding the side effects of polio vaccine. The vaccine is proven to be safe and one of the most effective tools in preventing polio. However, there is a rare chance (one in 2.4 million people) that your child may contract polio from the live but diluted virus. If you have any concerns regarding polio vaccination, discuss them openly with your doctor.
What is the polio vaccine schedule?
The first dose of polio vaccination in India can be given at birth. Thereafter two more doses are given at a gap of 4 weeks each. To put it simply, the first dose is given at birth, the second dose at the age of one month and the third dose at the age of two months. Consult your doctor to know the right oral polio vaccine schedule for your baby.
At Apollo Clinic, we strongly recommend polio vaccination as the most effective method to safeguard your child from polio. Our skilled and experienced doctors administer the polio vaccine to your baby with utmost care. We also advise you on the next visits so that your baby receives a timely polio vaccination.