Updated on 24 April 2013
The Indian vaccine industry has played a significant role to help India maintain its zero polio record
India, which was once considered as the world's epicenter of polio, successfully interrupted the transmission of the wild polio virus and completed one year without the presence of dreaded disease. The last reported case was that of a two-year-old girl in the state of West Bengal, India, on January 13, 2011.
India is now waiting to officially be deemed to have stopped indigenous transmission of wild poliovirus, following which the number of polio-endemic countries will be reduced to three, including Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
With sustained efforts from all quarters of society, across the globe, India is now close to making polio, only the third infectious disease to be eliminated completely, after small pox and rinderpest. The Indian vaccine industry has played a major role in this initiative.
As reported earlier in BioSpectrum, Panacea Biotec has been a major supplier of oral polio vaccine (OPV). Recently after staying away from the crowded space of OPV suppliers in India, Serum Institute of India (SII) finally joined the pack, by starting the production of its brand of the vaccine. While admitting that SII is a late entrant into this space, Dr Suresh Jadhav, executive director, Serum Institute of India, said that other events led them to taking this step.
"Since the supply from two other Indian suppliers for the OPV had to be stopped due to some regulatory issues, the UN agencies were facing a shortage of vaccines. We were then asked by the UN agencies to address this issue, and we have now risen to fill in the shortfall," he added.