Polio Drops Camp

In India, vaccination against Polio started in 1978 with Expanded Program in Immunisation (EPI). By 1984, it was successful in covering around 40% of all infants, giving 3 doses of OPV to each. In 1985, the Universal Immunisation Program (UIP) was launched to cover all the districts of the country. UIP became a part of child survival and safe motherhood program (CSSM) in 1992 and Reproductive and Child Health Program (RCH) in 1997. This program led to a significant increase in coverage, up to 95%.

Testing showed that three doses of vaccine was enough to protect children in developed countries, but it became obvious that this was not enough in some areas of India. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recommended eight to ten doses for each child. Children in some areas of India are weaker and often had diarrhoea, which reduced the efficacy of the vaccine. Open defecation and monsoon flooding and a lack of water treatment also made it easier for a child to swallow more polio virus. As a result, children with too few doses of vaccine were not fully protected and sometimes got polio.

Rumours about vaccinations varied by area, but clustered, so that there was a greater risk of a cluster of unvaccinated children

The campaign was supported by organisations including the Indian federal and state governments, international institutions, and non-governmental organisations. It is part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, spearheaded by Rotary International, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health officers who visited the village in West Bengal, saw utter discontent amongst the people as they stated that two children in a village in contracted the virus after the vaccine.