Polio is a disease that affects the nervous system of our body. Most of the people who are infected with this virus usually suffer only from a short and passing disease that manifests with fever, headache, throat ache, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, 2% of those infected will suffer from a severe illness that causes muscle paralysis that usually stays permanent. This paralysis can affect all of the muscles, including the respiratory system, and therefore cause permanent disability and even death.
In the past Polio was one of the most common diseases in the world, affecting many children and leading to high mortality rates, until a vaccine was developed in the early 50’s.
There are two types of vaccines for the Poliovirus. The first one is an inactivated vaccine (IPV) and the second one is a live attenuated vaccine (bOPV).
The inactivated vaccine is injectable and is given in Nepal at the age of 14 weeks. It is very safe and does not cause any significant adverse effect. There could be some local reaction to the injection that includes redness, slight pain and swelling if the area. The attenuated vaccine is given by drops orally at three doses, at the ages of 6, 10 and 14 weeks.