All about: Polio Vaccine
Polio vaccine is an effective control method to prevent and eliminate Polio.
Poliomyelitis is an acute infectious disease caused by poliovirus. The virus mainly invades the gray and white matter parts of the brain and attacks the nervous system causing weak muscles and paralysis.
It is highly contagious illness transmitted by close person to person contact, mainly through the oral-fecal route, an infected person who does not practice proper hand or body hygiene passes the infection to another person. It can also spread through infected saliva and respiratory system secretions.
On 8 December 2019, the Ministry of Health of Malaysia announced the country’s first case of polio since 1992. As children are most at risk of polio, WHO urges all parents and caregivers to ensure that all children under the age of 5 years are vaccinated. Multiple doses are required for full protection.
In Malaysia, the OPV was incorporated into the national immunisation programme earlier in 1972. OPV was replaced with the combined five-in-one diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, injectable inactivated polio and haemophilus influenzae b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) vaccine in 2008.
The advantage of the injectable inactivated polio vaccine is that there is no virus in the child’s intestine. OPV contains a weakened virus which is cheap and easy to administer. All infants are given 4 doses including booster at 18 months.
Adverse effects of polio vaccine
Fever and headache, but it is not too high, and it can heal itself in two to three days. The second is mild diarrhea, and the third can be an allergic reaction, which is usually related to the child’s special constitution. It is manifested as a rash all over the body. Generally, anti-allergic treatment is required; the above three reactions can be cured by themselves.
Although the vaccine may react, it is safe and effective for most children, but the more serious reaction is that a very small number of children can develop vaccine-related paralysis. It is best to go to the hospital to determine the cause. If it is suspected to be related to the vaccine, the inactivated polio vaccine can be used instead.