India: Paralysis Cases Soar After Oral Polio Vaccine Introduced

by Soren Dreier

A new report by two Delhi pediatricians suggests that the sharp rise in childhood paralysis in India is due to the increased usage of the oral polio vaccine, a drug that was banned in the U.S. over a decade ago.

Dr. Neetu Vashisht and Dr. Jacob Puliyel of St. Stephens Hospital created the report after analyzing data from India’s 10-year-old National Polio Surveillance Project, which is available online.

Their findings, which were published in the Indian Journal of medical Ethics, revealed that rates of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP) have increased 1200% since the oral polio vaccine was introduced to India a decade ago.

The oral polio vaccine contains a live polio virus and has been linked to polio-like paralysis. Polio vaccines used in other countries do not include the live virus, but polio vaccines used in India do.

The doctors provided other troubling details in their report: