Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam will put the use of the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) in the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation from the third quarter of this year, the Preventive Medicine Department announced on January 21.

The IPV injections will be administered to children aged five months alongside the use of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), which is provided for children aged two, three, and four months.

This move is in conformity with the World Health Organisation’s Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013–2018 and is an effort to maintain Vietnam’s achievements.

OPV vaccine currently has three doses that help children avoid three types of virus (type 1, type 2, and type 3). The virulence in the OPV vaccine has been reduced so that the vaccine would not be harmful to children while activating the immune system against polio.

However, the latest research from the WHO shows that virus type 2 in OPV vaccine might be the cause of some cases of acute flaccid paralysis after its use in several countries.

Consequently, Vietnam has excluded virus type 2 from OPV vaccine and administer the new IPV vaccine injections for children aged five months, according to Dang Duc Anh, Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

The IPV is an inactivate vaccine that contains antigens from dead polio viruses.

Vietnam controlled the spread of polio in 2000 thanks to the deployment of polio vaccines in the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation.

However, the disease may resurface if the children do not receive vaccinations in time.-VNA