Live oral polio vaccine: here’s why the US stopped using it years ago

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An unvaccinated resident of Rockland County, New York who came into contact with a person who received an oral polio vaccine contracted a neurological disease and is currently paralyzed. state of new york Health officials on Thursday, as Fox News Digital previously reported.

This Case Raises Questions About Polio Vaccinations and What Americans Should Know protect their health.

“Based on what we know about this case and about polio in general, the Department of Health strongly recommends that unvaccinated individuals get vaccinated or revaccinated with FDA-approved IPV. [inactivated] polio shot as soon as possible,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said in a New York State Department of Health press release shared with Fox News Digital.

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Public health officials said on Thursday that an oral vaccine containing live poliovirus strands is no longer being used in the US.

However, it is still used in many countries, including Eastern European countries.

Officials were unable to confirm where the person who received the oral polio vaccine came from or where the sick person met the person.

The patient started experiencing symptoms about a month ago; State and county health officials launched an investigation and contact tracing.

The woman is shown with a bandage on her arm, where she received her inoculation.  The oral polio vaccine has not been used in the US since 2000.

The woman is shown with a bandage on her arm, where she received her inoculation. The oral polio vaccine has not been used in the US since 2000.
(iStock)

They were unable to confirm where the person who received the oral polio vaccine was from or where the sick person met the person. (The identity of the patient has not been released.)

According to a press release, the New York State Department of Health Public Health Laboratory has identified “reversing Sabin polio virus type 2.”

In 2000, the US discontinued oral polio vaccine (OPV) and instead uses inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which does not contain live virus.

“This points to a chain of transmission from a person who received an oral polio vaccine (OPV) that is no longer authorized or used in the US.”

The press release also states: “This suggests that the virus may have originated outside the US where OPV is administered, as revertant strains cannot emerge from inactivated vaccines.”

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also confirmed these findings, the release notes.

Officials said during the conference that the US stopped using the oral polio vaccine (OPV) in 2000 and is instead using inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which does not contain live virus.

In this photo taken in February 2015, a Pakistani health worker administers a polio vaccine to a child at a bus station in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

In this photo taken in February 2015, a Pakistani health worker administers a polio vaccine to a child at a bus station in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
(AP)

Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said at a press conference this week that IPV “does not cause polio.”

She said that the IPV used in the US is inactivated and therefore will not change or mutate.

“So there is no risk of transmission to others,” she said.

What is poliomyelitis?

Poliomyelitis or poliomyelitis is a viral disease that affects the nervous system. According to health experts, this can cause muscle weakness and, in some cases, paralysis and death.

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Doctors explained to Fox Digital News that poliovirus is usually transmitted when infected person’s infected feces enter the body through the mouth, usually from the hands containing the feces.

It can also occur through respiratory and oral-oral contact via saliva.

This 2014 illustration provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a polio virus particle.

This 2014 illustration provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a polio virus particle.
(Sarah Poser, Meredith Boyter Newlove/CDC via AP)

Rockland County experts explained at a press conference that polio is highly contagious.

A person can spread the virus, that is, infect others, even if that person does not appear sick.

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A person may begin to show symptoms within 30 days of infection. These symptoms can range from mild flu-like symptoms, including vomiting, fever, headache, and muscle stiffness, to more severe symptoms, such as muscle weakness and even paralysis, according to health experts.

Rupert explained during the conference that kids in the usa usually inactivated polio vaccine is given at 2 months of age, followed by a second dose at 4 months and a third dose at 6 to 18 months of age.

Symptoms can range from mild flu-like symptoms, including vomiting, fever, headache, and muscle stiffness, to more severe symptoms, such as muscle weakness and even paralysis.

They then receive a booster at the age of 4 to 6 years. This is a mandatory vaccination before attending school.

Dr. Aaron Glatt, MD, MACP, Head of Infectious Diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau in Long Island, NY.

Glatt is also chair of the department. of Medicine at Mount Sinai – unrelated to the Rockland County case, but spoke to Fox Digital News about live vaccines such as OPV and the possibility of contracting polio from a person who received a live vaccine.

A small child receives drops of polio vaccine during a polio campaign in a poor area of ​​Karachi, Pakistan, on July 20, 2020.

A small child receives drops of polio vaccine during a polio campaign in a poor area of ​​Karachi, Pakistan, on July 20, 2020.
(REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo)

“Unvaccinated or immunocompromised person could potentially contract polio in this situation and should avoid being around someone who has recently received OPV,” he said.

“Theoretically, the polio virus can spread up to two months after the introduction of OPV.”

Glatt explained that in the US, healthcare professionals prefer IPV so that children are immune when exposed to polio without the possibility of transmitting the virus to others.

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Dr. Jennifer L. Lighter, MD, an infectious disease specialist at NYU Langone in New York, told Fox Digital News that OPV is still being used because it is seen as an important tool in the fight against polio worldwide because it is easy to administer. . , has a low cost and induces mucosal immunity.

In the US, healthcare professionals prefer IPV so that children are immune when exposed to polio without the possibility of transmitting the virus to others.

The hospital epidemiologist was not aware of the details of the Rockland County case, but said that OPV could be transmitted to other people.

Lighter said in an email to Fox Digital News: “Rarely (about 1 in a million), OPV can cause paralysis in immunocompromised children. Due to an extremely rare effect in immunocompromised children, the US has discontinued the use of OPV.”

A healthcare worker administers a vaccine on March 1, 2022.

A healthcare worker administers a vaccine on March 1, 2022.
(AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Lighter warned that immunocompromised people should talk to their doctor about vaccinations. An infectious disease expert said that while OPV is not offered in the US, some other vaccines, such as the measles, mumps, rubella, or varicella vaccine, are live attenuated immunizations.

Lighter said immunocompromised people should discuss what steps they should take in case they need to be exposed to a child or person who has received a live vaccine of any type.

Polio vaccination is important, Lighter said.

Poliomyelitis was almost eradicated thanks to vaccination, developed in 1955.

“Immunization against polio represents one of the greatest achievements of mankind,” she said. “There were about 50,000 cases of paralytic polio and 3,000 polio deaths each year in the US before the vaccine.”

This was stated by health experts interviewed by Fox Digital News. polio was almost eradicated thanks to vaccination developed in 1955

Nearly all children — 99 out of 100 — who receive all the recommended doses of the polio vaccine will be protected from the disease, according to the CDC.

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On its website, the CDC reports that the US has been polio free since 1979 thanks to the widespread use of the polio vaccine. The CDC also said the best way to contain the disease is to keep the population highly immune against polio through vaccination.

The unvaccinated should talk to their doctors

The New York State Department of Health and the Rockland County Department of Health have advised practitioners and healthcare providers to track additional cases.

Those who are already vaccinated are considered at lower risk, officials said.

This week, health officials said they were concerned that there could be hesitancy about vaccines due to the COVID pandemic.

However, people who are not vaccinated, including pregnant women, those who have not previously been vaccinated against polio, or members of the community who are concerned that they may have been exposed should consult their physician about getting vaccinated.

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Health officials said this week they were concerned there could be vaccine hesitancy due to COVID pandemic.

State and county governments are encouraging residents to get polio vaccinations.

“Vaccines have protected our health from old and new viruses for decades,” said New York Health Commissioner Dr. Ashvin Vasan announced this in a press release.

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“The fact is, the need for safe and effective vaccines has always been there, and we need New Yorkers to protect themselves from completely preventable viruses like polio.”

Temporary polio vaccination clinics were opened last week and next week.