Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In the news: First bivalent polio vaccine being tested in India

The world's first bivalent vaccine - that will protect children against both P1 and P3 strains of the polio virus - is being tested in India.

Around 900 newborn children in Indore, Chennai and Pune have already been given two doses of the oral bivalent vaccine (BOPV).

Scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) want to see whether the bivalent vaccine, manufactured by Panacea, provides as much immunity to children as the present day vaccine of choice -- monovalent oral polio vaccine (MOPV).
Blood samples of children in trial have already been collected. Being analyzed by the Enterovirus Research Centre in Mumbai, the final results on whether BOPV can be an alternative to MOPV will become clear by April.

In 2008, India recorded 549 polio cases of which 68 were caused by the P1 strain and 481 were P3 infections. In 2007, India recorded 874 cases of polio.

P1 is the most dangerous form of poliovirus as it can cause huge outbreaks and travel long distances. P1 accounted for 95% polio cases in the country till 2006. P1 causes paralysis in one out of every 200 children compared to P3, which causes paralysis in one out of every 1,000 infections.

Source, TNN

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