Polio defeat proves that immunizations have saved lives, but there is a twist to the story

Half a century after its eradication in the West, it is difficult to appreciate the terrible effects of polio on people’s lives at the moment and how much it was feared like the disease. The virus kills hundreds of people each year in the UK alone and leaves thousands with chronic paralysis.

A list of celebrities who became polio victims among these young people shows its global impact. The victims were Arthur C. Clarke, Donald Sutherland, Mia Ferro, Francis Ford Coppola, Johnny Mitchell, Neil Young, Farida Kahlo and many more.

Finally, polio was vigorously defeated by vaccines introduced in the West in the 50’s and 60’s and later in other parts of the planet. Today, only Pakistan and Afghanistan are infected with the wild-type virus. The polio vaccine is a testament to the power of immunization programs.

But there is a sting to this story, which has important implications for how we deal with CoVid-19 in the coming months. The polio vaccine has been around for the last four or five decades. In some rare cases, the parasite virus has been used to stimulate the immune system before the infection. The result is the emergence of a strain, called the vaccine-derived polio virus, which is spreading across all countries.

According to the magazine scienceMore than 600 polio vaccine cases have been recorded this year, a fivefold increase from last year, with a total of 23 countries in Africa now battling the growing number of vaccine-derived polio epidemics. have been.

“It’s really disturbing,” said Kathleen O’Reilly, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “The geographical spread of cases shows that there is still a lot of transmission going on.”

A new polio vaccine has now been developed to deal with these cases. It also uses a weak live virus, but it is genetically engineered to prevent it from mutating and becoming harmful. The new vaccine is now being tested, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

However, the vaccine is not yet licensed. Not surprisingly, this is spreading frustration as polio cases are increasing at an alarming rate. As a result, many doctors and scientists are now appealing to the World Health Organization to use its emergency use listing process to move it forward with vaccine use. Given that the emergency listing process can also be used to advance the various vaccines developed to combat Quido 19, the response to our high compensation for its arrival It is not difficult to see the harmony between. Corona virus and depressing response to the emergence of new polio strains.

Both cases are urgent. With Cowaid-19, the number of incidents and deaths continues to rise. Similarly, Professor Nicholas Grassley, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, said the new polio strain was becoming more serious.

“We are currently responding to the spread of the polio virus by using millions of doses of the old polio vaccine, yet they themselves are responsible for further outbreaks,” he said. Observer. “At the same time, we have a vaccine that addresses this issue and we need to use it more widely. We need this tool to stop the spread of polio-related polio, and it should be put on the ground as a matter of urgency.


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