There is no shortage of polio vaccine for routine
immunisation, “with the Health Ministry ensuring that we keep a
shock-absorber buffer stock for three-four months,” said a senior health
official speaking to The Hindu on Saturday.
The statement comes after reports of anticipated shortage
following the detection of contamination, by the Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL)
in Kasauli, in 16 batches of polio vaccine manufactured by Bharat Immunological
and Biologicals Corporation Limited (Bibcol).
In April, 30,000 vials were found to be substandard after
they failed sterility tests. “The vaccine was to be used for the government’s
polio eradication programme and given to children under the age of five years,”
according to a health expert.
Dr. Pradeep Haldar, Deputy Commissioner, Immunisation,
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said: “Quality is of prime importance and
there is no question of releasing any contaminated vaccine.”
“However, there is also a buffer [stock] that we keep for
all vaccines, which allows us to negotiate with any form of shortage, whether
caused by late delivery or contamination, etc.”
“If this contamination has happened, it will not have any
adverse reaction on the routine immunisation supply chain,” he added.