An Egyptian relic dating from 1403-1365 BC shows a priest with a walking stick and foot.
This relic is a stark reminder of the fact that poliomyelitis existed just as long as human society. Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease caused by the polio virus.1 The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis (can’t move parts of the body).1 The disease remains incurable but vaccines have assisted in eradicating it almost completely today.
Contributing to keeping India polio-free:
Every 2nd child in India today receives Sanofi Pasteur's Inactivated Polio Vaccine
In 2012, Polio remained officially endemic in four countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and India. India was the biggest of the four remaining polio endemic countries, and was presumed to prove most challenging in the effort to eradicate polio globally. However, in 2014, thanks to the concerted efforts of the government and various organizations, India was officially declared polio-free after recording no case since January 2011.
As part of the ‘Polio Endgame Strategic Plan’, the World Health Organization's (WHO) expert group on immunization recommends, in addition to OPV campaigns, that all countries introduce at least one dose of injectable inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) to mitigate the risk of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus.
In order to avoid this risk, Sanofi Pasteur became the first contributor of IPV to the India when it was declared polio-free in March 2014. From 2015 to 2017, we have strived to keep India polio-free by providing more than 20 million doses of one of our two IPVs, produced at Shantha Biotechnics*, to the Government of India. Today, we are the leading provider of IPV to India, with every 2nd child in India receiving Sanofi Pasteur’s IPV.
*Our vaccines manufacturing unit in Hyderabad
1CDC – Global Health Polio. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/polio/about/ (Accessed April 2018)
2Sanofi Pasteur Media factsheet.Available at https://www.sanofipasteur.com/media/Project/One-Sanofi-Web/sanofipasteur-com/en/immunization-essentials/docs/FactSheet_PolioVaccine_EN.pdf (Accessed April 2018)
3Based on (a) The number of doses supplied to the Government of India and (b) Us being the leading supplier