The government has launched on Monday an injectable vaccine to prevent re-emergence of polio. This is in addition to polio drops to double the protection from the deadly virus which has chances of coming back.
"The virus is still active in our neighbouring countries -- Pakistan and Afghanistan. Cases of polio still happen there. So the risk of re-introduction of the disease remains, particularly through importation from these endemic countries," Health Minister JP Nadd said.
"We are there to give them all kinds of support, including technical, experience or vaccine-related assistance. But we will have to be vigilant till the virus is eradicated globally," said Nadda. "To ensure that our children are doubly protected from polio, the IPV is being introduced into the routine immunisation program," he said.
"Even after receiving the IPV vaccine with the third dose of OPV (polio drops), the children must continue to receive OPV doses under routine immunisation and in pulse polio campaigns till they are five years of age," Health Secretary B P Sharma said.
Health Minister JP Nadda said that though India is certified polio-free on March 27, 2014, the battle against polio is not over yet.
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