Vaccination is an important health measure that has to be followed to prevent our children from serious illness. Vaccination has to be given at the right time and the right age to avoid complications. Over the year’s vaccines have helped us to eliminate serious diseases. Here I am talking about the OPV vaccine. The full form or OPV is Weakened Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV)
OPV Vaccine – Everything you need to know about
OPV vaccine is one of the two types of vaccines that are used to prevent poliomyelitis commonly known as Polio. Poliovirus is of three types (type1, type 2 and type 3).
The two types of vaccines that are used to prevent polio are:
- The first type is the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) vaccine. IPV has to be given through injection by a trained health worker.
- The second type is Weakened Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) which is given orally as drops.
These two vaccines are highly effective against all three types of polio virus though both of them work in significantly different ways. These two vaccines have almost eradicated polio from most parts of the world.
How does OPV vaccine work
OPV is composed of live attenuated polioviruses which means, reducing the pathogens ability to infect the body but still keeping it live. This vaccine provides antibodies in the blood to all the three types of poliovirus and also prevents the virus to spread into the nervous system. OPV also provides a local immune response in the intestine linings which is the primary site for the polio virus to multiply. The antibodies which the vaccine provides limits with the multiplication of the polio virus inside the gut. OPV being orally applicable eliminates the uses of sterile syringes and thus being the best way to provide vaccine for mass campaigns. The immunity provided by this vaccine is almost for lifelong.
Types of OPV Vaccine – OPV1 & OPV2
OPV vaccine comes with two types. The first OPV1 also known as IPV vaccine is given at the age of 2. to 4 Monts and it is also known as inactivated poliovirus vaccine which is given by Injection. The other one is OPV or OPV2, The many parts of the word, Still, the OPV is being used except the USA since 2000.
OPV Vaccine Immunization Schedule
Immunizing children as soon as possible provides protection during vulnerable early months of their lives. The Indian government has a started a Pulse Polio Programme in 2019 as a part of this programme children in the ages between 0-5 years must be provided with the doses of oral polio vaccine.
The following is the immunization schedule which is recommended by most physicians:
- It is recommended that newborn babies should get their first dose soon after birth. This birth dose can significantly improve the seroconversion rates of subsequent doses.
- For infants, one dose of the same vaccine is recommended at 6months and 9 months of age.
- Children around the age 4-6 years, one more dose of OPV vaccine is recommended.
Cost / Price of the OPV vaccine in India
The price of the vaccine is very affordable and it is easily available in all parts of India. The following is the prices of the OPV vaccine in India
- The birth dose vaccine of the infant costs around RS 230 approximately.
- The second, third and the final doses that have to be given to the children are also for Rs.230 approximately each.
Thus concluding by the quote” prevention is better than cure”. OPV being proved to provide long-lasting immunity, it is important that every child in our country should get vaccinated at the right time, with the right number of doses to lead a happy and healthy life.