While the world on October 24 celebrated World Polio Day and continued their fight towards eradicating the disease for good; experts at World Health Organization (WHO) were worried about the shortage of the amount of vaccine that is being produced in the world.
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) October 24, 2016
There are only two companies in the world that are making Polio vaccine that is used to eradicate the crippling disease.
“There are only two manufacturers of the vaccine and they are having some problems with production of the vaccine, and getting enough raw material of the polio virus.” SAGE Chairman Jon Abramson.
Unfortunately, according to WHO experts, these two companies are failing to meet the world’s required demand and are only able to produce about 60 percent of the required polio vaccine.
With nearly 40 percent shortage, as many as 50 countries in the world have been left without the adequate amount of polio supplies.
The situation is so bad that many countries might soon have to prepare to give lower doses of the vaccine so as to make the stocks last.
What is more heartbreaking is the fact that polio at present is on the brink of eradication and the WHO wants to see a worldwide switch from the traditional “live” oral polio vaccine, which runs the risk of spreading the disease, to an inactivated vaccine that needs to be injected.
“Each time we hear that there’s a further reduction in the amount that can be anticipated, we have to make further adjustments. My hope is this problem can be solved by 2018. But I can’t promise that, obviously. It’s not something we can control.”
Unfortunately, the severe shortage of inactivated vaccine means many countries might have to use a fractional dose that too via an intra-dermal rather than intra-muscular injection so as to allow each dose to go twice as far.
Polio is a contagious viral disease which invades one’s nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours.
The only two manufacturers of Polio vaccines in the world are French drugmaker Sanofi Pasteur and India’s Serum Institute of India Ltd which is Asia’s largest vaccine maker.
Serum Institute of India Ltd. is owned by the billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla.