The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has ordered an investigation into claims that traces of polio type II virus were found in some batches of oral polio vaccine manufactured by a company in Ghaziabad, PTI reported on Saturday. The polio type II virus strain has been eradicated across the world.
The Ghaziabad Police arrested SP Garg, the managing director of pharmaceutical company Bio-Med Private Limited, based on a complaint by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, according to The Times of India.
The Drugs Controller General of India has asked the firm to stop the manufacture, sale or distribution of the vaccine. “The company has five directors. While the managing director has been arrested, we have asked the police to trace the rest directors as they also need to be questioned,” a government official told PTI.
A testing of samples of the oral polio vaccine, collected from the company between September 12 and 14, showed that they were adulterated and “not of standard quality”. An official told The Times of India that till April 24, 2016, polio vaccines in India had three strains of polio – I, II and III. But after the eradication of the type II virus, the health ministry announced that from September 2016, no vaccine will have the type II virus strain.
Garg denied the allegations and claimed his company was told to stop the sale of the vaccine “with no specific reason”.