Government puts off polio immunisation programme

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) The government has postponed holding of the National Immunisation Day (NID) on February 3, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the Ministry, the delay is owing to more stringent testing of the vaccination which will be dispatched to states for public use after clearance from the National Testing Laboratory for each batch.

The Ministry’s clarification comes in response to a report that stated that there is a shortage of polio vaccines.

“The government has not postponed the NID indefinitely, as wrongly reported in the media. Regarding Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), there is neither shortage of IPV nor any shortage of funds for its procurement for Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) in the country,” it stated.

As per a letter procured from the Health Ministry, it has directed that NID be put off in all states barring Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala and said that “new date will be communicated in due course”.

“India has eliminated polio already and as per global guidelines, introduced IPV in its Universal Immunisation Programme to safeguard the polio-free status, as there are few countries where polio virus is still circulating and polio is yet to be eliminated,” it added.

–IANS

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