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Polio Vaccines Found Contaminated, Ghaziabad Pharma Company MD Arrested


Polio Vaccines Found Contaminated, Ghaziabad Pharma Company MD Arrested

According to a Health Ministry source, the contamination came to light after surveillance reports from Uttar Pradesh showed signs of the virus in stool samples of some children.

New Delhi: The Health Ministry has ordered a probe after traces of polio type-2 virus were found in some batches of oral polio vaccine (OPV) manufactured by a Ghaziabad-based pharmaceutical company, even as the firm’s managing director was arrested Saturday.

Polio type 2 virus strain has been eradicated worldwide, including in India.

The managing director of Ghaziabad-based Biomed Pvt Ltd., which was supplying polio vaccines for only government-run immunisation programmes, was arrested after the Central Drug Regulator filed an FIR in this case.

The Drugs Controller General of India has also asked the company to stop “manufacture, sale or distribution till further orders.”

“The company has five directors. While the managing director has been arrested, we have asked the police to trace the rest directors as they also need to be questioned,” a government official said.

According to a Health Ministry source, the contamination came to light after surveillance reports from Uttar Pradesh showed signs of the virus in stool samples of some children.

Immediately, the OPVs were sent for testing which confirmed that some of them were contaminated with a type-2 virus.

The ministry has also alerted the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra governments assuming a possible usage of the vaccine there.

The incident has come as a grave risk to the country, not only for its children but also to its “polio-free” status as children born after April 2016 —when the type 2 virus was withdrawn worldwide including in India — do not have immunity to this particular strain.

“The contamination can have very serious ramifications on public health because it is tantamount to reintroducing into the community a virus that had been eradicated. The WHO and health authorities are keeping a close watch for any active strain of the virus in stool samples or in sewage,” a senior official said.

The ministry has set up a three-member committee to probe how the eradicated virus got introduced again even after orders for its destruction from the manufacturing and supply chain. The panel has been asked to submit its report within a week as reported in TOI

Earlier Medical Dialogues had reported about a similar incident where Injectable Polio Vaccine supplied to the hospitals and health centres in Gujarat were either been found to be expired or in the last stage of expiry.

Read Also: Sanofi Pasteur Expired polio vaccines being used in Gujarat: Probe demanded



Source: With agency input
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