The Health Ministry officials have confirmed that some batches of the oral polio vaccines (OPV) were contaminated with the type-2 polio virus. The OPV manufactured by a Ghaziabad-based pharmaceutical company was given to children in Maharashtra, Telengana and Uttar Pradesh.
The three states have been issued with advisories by the ministry to ensure that polio investigation teams trace the children who have been administered the contaminated vaccines.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday, said that there was minimal risk of children contracting polio virus from the contaminated batch of vaccines.
A Health Ministry official said. "There is no need to panic. The polio surveillance team in the three states have been asked to step up the monitoring of all those children who have been given the vaccine and keep a close watch for any symptoms," the official was quoted by Indian Express.
The Health Ministry, under its national immunisation programme, will also ensure that inactivated polio virus (IPV) injections are being administered to every child in places concerned of the three states so that no child is missed, the official said.
IPV is produced from wild-type polio virus strains of each serotype that have been knocked down with formalin.
While one batch containing 50,000 vials were found contaminated with the strains of the type-2 polio virus, two more batches containing one lakh vials are suspected to be contaminated with the virus, a senior health ministry official said.
The ministry has also ordered the immediate withdrawal of the particular manufacturer's vaccine.
The managing director of pharmaceutical company Biomed Pvt Ltd was arrested on Thursday after the Central Drug Regulator filed an FIR in this case. "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.
The incident came to light after investigation reports from Uttar Pradesh showed signs of the virus in stool samples of some children. The Type 2 polio virus has been eradicated in almost all countries. India was officially declared "polio free" by the government in March 2014. The government has set up a committee to review the contamination of some vials of the vaccine.