Punjab on track to global switch from TOPV to BOPV.
LAHORE -- Punjab is all set to complete implementation of global switch from Trivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (TOPV) to Bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (BOPV) from April 25.
Director EPI Dr Munir Ahmed chaired a meeting of EPI experts and technical officials from the UNICEF, WHO and Gates Foundation on Wednesday to review progress made in developing the monitoring mechanism after the switch deadline.
The TOPV to BOPV switch implies that BOPV will replace TOPV in all types of vaccination activities like routine immunization and polio campaigns throughout the world, including Pakistan. The TOPV to BOPV switch will occur on the 25th of April 2016 and the objective is to remove the P2 virus from the world, even from the vaccine.
Director EPI Dr Munir Ahmed said: The TOPV vaccine includes all 3 types of polio virus. As no polio case due to type 2 of polio virus have been reported since 1999, the experts believe there is no need to give vaccine against type 2. Removing type 2 component from OPV will improve the potency of BOPV against type 1 and type 3 which will help achieve polio free country and world.
Dr Munir said that BOPV would be used in polio campaign from the 25th of April in 15 districts and monitoring teams from the provincial office will inspect the district and tehsil store to ensure no vial of TOPV was available anywhere in the province. He said by the 23rd of April 2016, all TOPV vials must be counted, removed from cold chain ie refrigerators etc placed in separate bag or container and transported to DO (H) Office from all EPI centers etc.
TOPV will exchanged for BOPV at DO (H) Office and no single dose or vial of TOPV must be left at vaccination site.
The independent monitors will visit EPI sites, THQ and DHQs to validate that all TOPV is removed and shifted to DO (H) office for onward transportation to provincial office.
He said if any vial of TOPV was found at vaccination site, it will show poor interest and commitment on part of vaccinator and health facility in charge.