One reason parents often avoid the polio vaccine is the fear that their child may actually contract the disease from the vaccine. Once upon a time, I was told that this live vaccine could actually be contracted through changing diapers. Like much information about vaccines that is shared, sometimes it is hard to separate fact from fiction.
In the US, the live polio vaccine has not been used for a dozen years.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports:
India is one of those countries that still uses the OPV.
Yesterday, the Times of India reports:
As a result, India may stop using this particular polio vaccine. Today, the Times of India explained this game change:
Clearly, this vaccine has prevented paralysis and death, which the CDC states only occurs in “fewer than 1% of polio cases”. Interestingly, “95% of persons infected with polio will have no symptoms.”
India has not reported a “wild” case of polio since January 13, 2011. Such eradication is called “one of the greatest achievements in public health in the 21st century”.
I assume it boils down to money. Just as thimerosal (mercury) preserved vaccines are still administered in third world countries funded by US billionaires but are no longer considered safe in the US, live polio oral vaccines are still prevalent around the globe. If it isn’t safe for our kids, why is it safe in the third world?