Horror: Polio Vaccine Paralyzes 490,000 in India!

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New Delhi - 15 August 2018
Leading doctors in two reputed hospitals here report that over 490,000 persons in India developed paralysis between 2000 to 2017 because of oral polio vaccine (OPV).
Jacob Puliyel, a pediatrician at St Stephens Hospital and co-workers say their study has shown that "the frequency of pulse polio administration is directly or indirectly related to the incidence of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP)."
Their study which calls for judicious use of OPV schedule to prevent vaccine induced paralysis is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
To monitor progress in polio eradication, the World Health Organization (WHO)
recommends that countries conduct surveillance for cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) which is defined as a sudden onset of paralysis or weakness in any part of the body of a child less than 15 years of age.
The surveillance allows nations to detect paralytic poliomyelitis due to wild poliovirus transmission in the population. There are many causes of AFP, so each case needs to be evaluated to find out if the paralysis is due to polio or not. This investigation includes testing stool specimens of all AFP cases for polio virus detection.
More than 50,000 AFP cases are investigated in India every year as part of this surveillance system that has been in place since 1997.
In 2009, 741 of these AFP cases in India tested positive for polio. In 2010 only 42 cases tested positive while in 2011 only a single AFP case tested positive for polio. Not a single AFP case tested positive for polio in 2012, 2013 and 2014. All AFP cases during the last three years have been due to non-polio causes.
The last case of polio from India was reported in 2011 but India even after it was certified polio-free maintains its surveillance system in order to pick up any imported cases of polio.
In the absence of wild polio transmission, it was expected that the AFP cases in India would reduce to acceptable rate of around 2 per 100,000. "Although surveillance in India has been exemplary, this has not yet materialized," the report says. The AFP rate in some states is as high as 30 per 100,000.
The present study - using surveillance data obtained from all 36 states and Union Territories - was done to see if the incidence of NPAFP declined with reduction in pulse polio immunization rounds.
The results however showed that the number of pulse polio rounds conducted in a state had a "high correlation" with the NPAFP rate in the state.
The NPAFP rates in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were the highest in the country. "Our study found that NPAFP rate in these states was high in those years when the number of pulse polio rounds conducted was high," the authors say.
For instance, in 2011, there were an additional 47,500 children with paralysis which was over and above the assumed NPAFP rate of 2 per 100,000 and the NPAFP rate started to decrease from 2012 when the number of pulse polio rounds had decreased.
"From the results, the NPAFP rate has been shown to decline with a reduction in the pulse polio doses suggesting that OPV vaccinations are responsible for the paralysis," the authors say.
"A total of 640,000 children developed NPAFP in the years 2000–2017, suggesting that there were an additional 491,000 paralyzed children above the numbers expected to develop NPAFP," the authors say.
According to their report "repeated doses of the live vaccine virus delivered to the intestine may colonize the gut and alter the viral microbiome of the intestine."
Also studies from Finland and Turkey suggest that Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) is causatively associated with OPV vaccination campaigns.
"While the mechanism involved is speculative, our findings supports the hypothesis that the frequency of pulse polio administration is directly or indirectly related to the incidence of NPAFP," the report says. "Now that India has been polio-free for over six years, we may be able to reduce NPAFP by further reducing pulse polio rounds."
While commending the government for its enormous effort at polio eradication, the authors hope their observation "will help at optimizing the dose schedule of OPV administration" to prevent paralysis in vaccinated children.
Puliyel's team included Rachana Dhiman and Sandeep Prakash at St. Stephens Hospital and V. Sreenivas of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences' [END]
[This press release has been written with help from an experienced science reporter]
The full text of the paper can be accessed here
doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081755
This paper is the last of 3 papers looking at vaccine safety.
The first paper also using data from the Government of India showed Pentavalent vaccine (PV) doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine. The authors suggest that 7020 to 8190 deaths from PV each year in India is likely due to the switch from DPT
The second paper published in F1000 Research implores World Health Organization (WHO) to urgently revise its manual on classification of "Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI)," warning that the revised guidelines put children's life at risk.
Under WHO's revised manual on AEFI, only those adverse reactions observed during clinical trials of a vaccine, should be classified as vaccine related. All new serious adverse reactions including deaths seen during post-marketing of the vaccine should be considered as ‘coincidental' or ‘unclassifiable’, and the vaccine should not be blamed. This paper is available here.
Jacob Puliyel MD MRCP M Phil

Polio Vaccine Horror.
With the latest study indicating upwards of 490,000 children may have been paralyzed by the oral polio vaccine in India, populations are slowly waking up to the truth that the vaccine they trusted so much has harmed children incalculably. Paralysis is just one of the concerns with the vaccine. When I had met Dr Pushpa Bhargava for the first time in Hyderabad and appealed to him to spearhead the campaign he had smiled and said, "Jagannath I have already lost my job, do you want me to lose my pension as well?" He had told me his largest concern was what the vaccine was doing to the gut microbiome. He subtly indicated to me the vaccine was likely behind the increasing cases of encephalitis being noticed in the areas where intensive campaigns were being conducted; UP and Bihar. After I exposed the vaccine in my Down to Earth article in 2015 I had received many threats from reputed institutions. In 2014 my expose barred my posts from an English newspaper. What else is the vaccine causing? It is tied to Guillain Barre Syndrome and a host of neurological disorders. Proper investigations may link it to the epidemic of leukemia and other cancers in children. What has happened is a crime. It is very important to find out exactly who have benefitted from the programme and take heed of calls by ethical doctors like Anant Phadke that those guilty must be identified and punished. He says, “It is necessary that all these children who have lost their limbs be fully rehabilitated, and their parents adequately compensated. Criminal liability should be ascertained for those officials who have suppressed this information of breakup of follow-up of AFP cases, and those officials and policymakers who are responsible for continuing this policy of Polio Eradication Initiative.”
Reference: India's Polio Free Status a Cruel joke:
Horror: Polio Vaccine Paralyzes 490,000 in India!
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Vaccine-induced paralysis calls for action, says study


Oral polio drops linked to paralysis in India


The study was questioned, and this is how the questions were answered;
Open Access
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 201916(1), 63; doi:10.3390/ijerph16010063
Reply to Comment on Dhiman, R. et al. Correlation of Non-Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis Rate with Pulse Polio Frequency in India. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2018, 15, 1755
Department of Pediatrics, St Stephens Hospital, Delhi 110054, India
Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 10029, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 27 December 2018
We thank the authors for their interest in our paper [1]. However, without providing any data or references to support their contentions, they have speculated on eight reasons why the inferences made in our publication are questionable. It appears that none of these objections are valid and we discuss each point in detail below.
  • The correspondent has drawns attention to the fact that pulse polio campaigns target children under five, whereas AFP surveillance includes all children under 15. They suggest that AFP in children aged 5 to 15 may have influenced our results wrongly.
    We disagree that it is wrong to look at AFP surveillance data under 15. First, the correspondent is mistaken in assuming that the influence of the vaccine will end abruptly at five years of age and cannot influence AFP at six years of age just because OPV is given to children under five. Furthermore, it must be remembered that OPV is a live-virus vaccine. It is known that the vaccine virus, which is excreted in sewage, can contaminate the water supply and induce both protection in unvaccinated children and can revert to a virulent form and cause vaccine-virus associated polio paralysis [2]. In this way, pulse polio in children under five could well influence AFP in children aged 5–15 years, and therefore, it is appropriate to include them in our evaluation.
    The incidence of polio in the age group 5–15 years is very low which is the rationale for limiting the vaccination to children under five years of age. In fact, the incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), which is ordinarily one of the main causes of non-polio AFP (NP AFP), is also much higher in children under four years. The annualized rate for GBS was 1.3/100,000 for children under four years when compared to 0.1/100,000 in the age group of 5 to 15 in the study by Winner and Evans [3]. The inclusion of the AFP rate in children 5–15 years (where the natural incidence is low) will result in the underestimation of the problem we highlighted in our paper, and the AFP rates would have been even higher if we considered only children under five.
  • The correspondent suggests that a broadened case definition and the reduced support in human resources from the WHO, with fewer visits by these officers to the reporting centers, may correlate to non-polio AFP rates in recent years.
    The correspondent has provided no data to substantiate this assertion. The broadening of the case definition took place long before the fall in AFP rate seen from 2011. Moreover, a broadened definition would have resulted in an increase in the reported incidence and cannot explain why AFP rates have fallen steadily since 2011.
    The suggestion that the reporting of AFP has fallen because the number of visits by WHO experts has been scaled down is both unwarranted and mischievous. The AFP surveillance machinery in the country has been set up for meticulous reporting at great recurring cost to the Government of India. AFP cases are investigated within 48 h, which is an AFP surveillance performance indicator. All of the performance indicators from India have consistently been exemplary. It is unfortunate that the correspondents have resorted to innuendo without showing any evidence of a drop in performance from 2011 onwards.
  • The variation seen in the AFP rates in places receiving the same number of pulse polio doses was questioned.
    Area wise variations in susceptibility to vaccine preventable disease as well as the adverse effects of immunization are well known. In a study of another oral vaccine, the rotavirus vaccine, the incidence of intussusceptions was 27.7/100,000 child-years in Delhi, but was 20 times higher in Vellore, South India (581/100,000 child-years) [4].
  • It was pointed out that routine immunization coverage improved after 2013–2014, which was not taken into account in our calculations.
    We did not include routine immunization in our calculations. Routine immunization consists of three doses in the first year, one dose in the second year, and one dose in the fifth year. We considered this as a constant in all children. Having assumed full coverage from the start, we looked at the additional pulse polio doses given. As such improvements in coverage were not taken into account, they are unlikely to have significantly influenced the results.
  • It was suggested that we had not considered the global switch in 2016 from tOPV to bOPV.
    It was also stated that we had not considered the low coverage with IPV due to global shortages in our calculations.
    How this switch to bOPV that was to happen in 2016 could influence a fall in the AFP rate five years earlier in 2011, has not been explained by the correspondent.
    With regard to shortages in IPV, it must be clarified that IPV has been used very infrequently in India and so the shortages of IPV did not have any significant impact. Our calculations only considered the doses of oral vaccine given, which was not influenced by the IPV shortage.
  • The correspondent writes that the incidence of post vaccination paralysis in the literature is about one in 2–3 million doses, and that it was seen in those given the vaccine for the first time. Therefore, they say that there is no biological plausibility for the conclusion on correlation as described by us.
    This appears to be a straw man argument. We did not say that the NP AFP reported in our paper were cases of vaccine induced paralysis. Non-polio AFP, by its very definition, excludes polio vaccine induced paralysis.
  • The correspondent claims that non-polio entroviruses (NPEV) causing polio like paralysis was unaccounted for in our paper.
    This is not correct. It seems that the correspondent has not read our paper carefully. I quote from the paper:
    “We speculate that repeated doses of live vaccine virus delivered to the intestine may colonize the gut and alter the viral microbiome of the intestine, and this can result in strain shifts of enteropathogens. It is possible that new neurotropic enteroviruses colonizing the gut may induce paralysis”.
  • The correspondent suggests that in India, we do not use the classical AFP criteria practiced in Western countries, but have used NP AFP rates from the West when making our comparisons.
    We clarify that we have used the WHO recommended surveillance standards, not a ‘Western standard’. This was quoted as Reference [7] in our paper.
It would appear that the correspondent is clutching at straws to discredit our findings. We hope we have clarified all of their queries.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


  1. Dhiman, R.; Prakash, S.C.; Sreenivas, V.; Puliyel, J. Correlation between Non-Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis Rates with Pulse Polio Frequency in India. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 201815, 1755. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. WHO Global Vaccine Safety. Information Sheet Observed Rate of Vaccine Reactions Polio Vaccine. May 2014. Available online: https://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/initiative/tools/polio_vaccine_rates_information_sheet.pdf (accessed on 1 December 2018).
  3. Winner, S.J.; Evans, J.G. Age-specific incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome in Oxfordshire. Q. J. Med. 199077, 1297–1304. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. John, J.; Kawade, A.; Rongsen-Chandola, T.; Bavdekar, A.; Bhandari, N.; Taneja, S.; Antony, K.; Bhatnagar, V.; Gupta, A.; Kabra, M.; et al. Active surveillance for intussusception in a phase III efficacy trial of an oral monovalent rotavirus vaccine in India. Vaccine 201432 (Suppl. 1), A104–A109. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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