Hyderabad: Recent revelations have brought to light the use of a banned anti-polio vaccine within medical institutions in the state. Seven doctors were caught administering the vaccine and have been booked by the authorities and served notice.
In this connection the district health department has sought an explanation from the named doctors within 15 days under a notice it served against these doctors.
The move came after a survey was conducted for detection of polio virus if any, the results came as positive for the virus presence in the environment, where it was found twice at Amberpet and once at Nagole sewage treatment plant.
As per the Deccan Cronicle sources, banned TPOV, an anti-polio vaccine was supplied across the state by three medical stores including Shifa Medical Hall at Kachiguda railway station, Anvesh Medical Store at Amberpet and Gandhi Medical Stores near the Gandhi Medical.
All the three stores involved in the malfunctioning are set to undergo punishment for the same as the district medical and health officer has asked the drug controller to take due actions against them.
On being asked about what actions were taken in the case, Dr P Padmaja, incharge district medical and health officer, stated, “We have taken action against six MBBS doctors and one Unanai doctor who have been using this vaccine despite their being banned. A notice has been served on them and they have been told to give an explanation within 15 days. But we can’t take action against the medical stores. We have asked the drug controller to take action against them,” reported The Deccan Chronicle
However, when confronted by the daily, the drug controller, Dr Amrutha Rao told that no information as such has been received by them on the issue. Senior drug control officer Nagendra R. said, “No medical store supplies banned vaccine to the doctors. These stocks must have been procured by them earlier Currently, chemists do not have these stocks.”
A senior paediatrician on condition of anonymity said, “The presence of the virus in the drainage means the presence of the virus in the environment whereby the risk of contraction exists. Trivalent OPV contains live and weakened versions of all three types of wild polio virus (1, 2 and 3) while in the bivalent vaccine there is only type 1 and 3. Presence of type 2 vaccine derived virus means that it is present in the environment and has to be eliminated.”
Sources in the health department suggest that the continued presence of the polio causing virus taints health department’s image, which has not completely moved away all stocks of the old vaccine, once it was banned years back. The presence of this vaccine and use indicates that local level surveillance is not effective.
The vaccine was banned years back on the recommendations of The India Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) as chances of vaccine derived polio infection were increased with the use of this drug. Thus, it was implicated that oral bivalent variant drops should only be used for prevention of the disease.
WHO command stated while banning the drug, “The withdrawal of OPVs must occur in a globally synchronized manner, starting in April 2016 with a switch from trivalent OPV (tOPV) to bivalent OPV (bOPV), removing the type 2 component (OPV2) from immunization programmes.”