LAHORE - Punjab is all set to fulfill global obligation of switching from trivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (tOPV) to bivalent bOPV from April 25.

Director EPI Dr Munir Ahmed chaired a meeting of experts and technical officials from UNICEF, WHO and Gates Foundation yesterday to review the progress on developing the monitoring mechanism after the switch deadline. The bOPV will replace tOPV in all of vaccination activities like routine immunization and polio campaigns around the globe.

Dr Munir Ahmed said: “the tOPV vaccine includes all three types of polio virus. As no case of type 2 virus has been reported since 1999, there is no need to give vaccine against type 2. Removing type 2 from OPV will improve the potency of vaccine (bOPV) against type 1 and type 3.”

He said that bOPV would be used in polio campaign from April 25 in 15 districts. He said that monitoring teams would inspect district and tehsil store to ensure no vial of tOPV was used anywhere in the province. He said by April23, all tOPV vials must be counted, removed from cold chain, placed in separate bag or container and transported to DO (H) Office from all EPI centers.

The Independent monitors would visit EPI sites, THQ and DHQs to validate that all tOPV was removed and shifted to DO (H) office for onward transportation to provincial office.