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India’s Declared Polio-Free Nation

India will finish three years without any polio case on Monday. The last polio case was reported on January 13, 2011 from West Bengal. Three years is the development period for the WHO to announce a country polio-free. Although the three year phase ends today, the WHO certification will take a month or so. RK Saboo, founding member of the Polioplus programme, said, "We have accomplished this landmark after insistence and reliable efforts. However, we will not get satisfied. The polio drops will be reinstated by the injectable IPV (inactivated polio vaccine) next year in the high risk states." As IPV is not a 'live' vaccine and is an intramuscular injection it carries no risk of vaccine-associated polio paralysis, he said here on Sunday. The high risk states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar and Haryana, will have polio vaccines as an alternative of the oral drops for children. This will consequently be followed in the rest of the nation. Spelling out the roadmap for the next few years after the polio-free rank, Saboo said, "In fact, the door-to-door polio drive will now also make sure for other national inoculation programmes, including pentavalent vaccines."

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