By G.S. MUDUR
New Delhi, Jan. 15: India’s health ministry, celebrating a year of freedom from wild polio, now faces a dilemma that public health experts had predicted years ago: the very vaccine it is using to fight polio is causing more polio paralysis than the wild poliovirus.
India observed last Thursday as a milestone, marking a full year without polio caused by a wild poliovirus.
But surveillance data show that last year, seven children in India developed polio from vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV), the medical term for a virus from the oral polio vaccine (OPV) that has regained the ability to cause disease.
Such infections occur when virus from the OPV, after being excreted by vaccinated children, regains neuro-virulence and the ability to circulate in the environment and strikes other vulnerable children