New Delhi: On the occasion of the National Immunisation Day, several lakhs of children below the age of five years are getting polio vaccine drops on Sunday across the country. President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday administered Polio drops to children and launched the National Immunization Day, also known as “Polio Ravivar”.

The Pulse Polio Immunization programme, launched in 1995, caters to around 172 million children every day. Last year, there was a controversy over the shortage of polio vaccination as the National Immunisation Day — the day on which the vaccine is administered — were delayed. However, the department dismissed the claim and polio vaccinations were administered in March 2019.

Polio or infantile paralysis is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. In about 0.5 per cent of cases, there is muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move.

On March 27, 2014, India and the entire WHO South-East Asia Region were officially declared as being polio-free. However, there have been reports of polio resurfacing in Pakistan and China.