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Vaccine-Derived Polio Cases Do Not Impact India’s Polio-Free Status

The death of an infant from vaccine-derived polio in India’s Maharashtra state on Saturday “won’t impact the country’s march toward being certified polio-free,” the Wall Street Journal’s “India Real Time” blog reports, noting the country has gone more than two years without a case of wild-type polio. According to the WHO, a country “must complete three years without a single case of polio caused by the wild poliovirus,” the blog adds. “India has been using the oral polio vaccine for 35 years,” and the country “had one case of vaccine-derived polio in 2012 and seven cases in 2011, according to the National Polio Surveillance Project,” according to the blog, which notes “[t]his is the third case in India in 2013.” Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan are the three remaining polio endemic countries worldwide, the blog adds (Dutta/Chowdhury, 6/24).