Home » GENERAL » Is vaccine shortage behind delay in nation-wide Pulse Polio programme?
File Photo: Then Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan administering the polio vaccine drops to children under-five years to mark the World Polio Day, in New Delhi on October 24, 2014. (PIB)

Is vaccine shortage behind delay in nation-wide Pulse Polio programme?

Just 10 days before the country was to take up the pulse polio drive, a news started appearing in news domain that there is a shortage of polio vaccine and the National Immunization Day scheduled for February 3 may be postponed.

Online news publication “The Print” published a story on Thursday with a headline that read, “India doesn’t have polio vaccine for the next round of immunisation.” Here’s a screen grab:

Print published a story on Jan 24, 2018 stating that there is a shortage of polio vaccine vials in the country, and it was widely shared on social media (Screengrab)

Soon misinterpretations took several formats going to the extreme of saying the fiscal budget deficit this year may not afford enough polio vaccines for the country’s children. Maharashtra Congress has captioned it in large comparing it with other expenditure as below. Many have trolled the shortage of vaccines as seen below:


The issue was going viral online until the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare came out with a statement refuting the allegations and announcing categorically that the immunization drive will be held as per the schedule on February 3. “There is no shortage of Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV) and Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) in the country,” the ministry said in a press release. (See the press release here)

The government has also said that the required quantity of bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV) for the national immunization day has already been secured.

Last year, more than 17 crore children of less than five years across the country were given polio drops as part of the drive of Government of India to sustain polio eradication, on January 27. But this year, it has been delayed by one week.

Conclusion:

The story was based on secondary sources and lacked authenticity. A slight delay by one week, owing to retests, has been misinterpreted as lack of sufficient quantity of vaccination in the country. Our rating of this news is ???? (Mostly False).

About Gayathri Soora

Gayathri Soora has been a contributor to Digiteye.in and our Telugu edition Eedinijam.com with more than 9 years of experience as a reporter for Hyderabad-based online news websites. An avid observer of developments in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, she is our best bet for fact-checking news in Telugu. She can be reached at: gayathri@eedinijam.com or telugu@digiteye.in

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