Central government postpones polio vaccination

The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has said that the national immunisation day (NID) for polio will be delayed until further notice.

The ministry’s letter comes barely a couple of days after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan spoke at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) on the importance of getting anti-polio immunisation.

A letter to all State Health Secretaries from the immunisation division of the ministry, dated January 9, said the polio NID round, slated for January 17, would be delayed until further notice due to ‘unforeseen activities’.

Dr Harsha Vardhan had visited RGGGH to review the dry run of the vaccination procedure. Addressing the media, he said India had eradicated polio but neighbouring countries had active cases which necessitated increased prevention through vaccination.

‘We eradicated polio and were certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2014. Two of our neighbouring countries still have significant cases of poliomyelitis.

Due to this, our population always remains at risk. So, the National Expert Group on Immunisation, in consultation with international health authorities, decided to fix January 17 as the national immunisation day for polio,’ he said at Chennai.