Intramuscular injections within 30 days of immunization with oral poliovirus vaccine–a risk factor for vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis.

N Engl J Med. 1995 Feb 23;332(8):500-6.
Strebel PM1, Ion-Nedelcu N, Baughman AL, Sutter RW, Cochi SL.
Author information
Abstract
BACKGROUND:
In Romania the rate of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis is for unexplained reasons 5 to 17 times higher than in other countries. Long ago it was noted that intramuscular injections administered during the incubation period of wild-type poliovirus infection increased the risk of paralytic disease (a phenomenon known as “provocation” poliomyelitis). We conducted a case-control study to explore the association between intramuscular injections and vaccine-associated poliomyelitis in Romania.
METHODS:
The patients were 31 young children in whom vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis developed from 1988 through 1992. Eighteen were vaccine recipients, and 13 had acquired the disease by contact with vaccine recipients. Each of these children was matched with up to five controls according to health center, age, and in the case of vaccine recipients, history of receipt of the live attenuated oral poliovirus vaccine. Data were abstracted from medical records that documented the injections administered in the 30 days before the onset of paralysis.
RESULTS:
Of the 31 children with vaccine-associated disease, 27 (87 percent) had received one or more intramuscular injections within 30 days before the onset of paralysis, as compared with 77 of the 151 controls (51 percent) (matched odds ratio, 31.2; 95 percent confidence interval, 4.0 to 244.2). Nearly all the intramuscular injections were of antibiotics, and the association was strongest for the patients who received 10 or more injections (matched odds ratio for > or = 10 injections as compared with no injections, 182.1; 95 percent confidence interval, 15.2 to 2186.4). The risk of paralytic disease was strongly associated with injections given after the oral polio virus vaccine, but not with injections given before or at the same time as the vaccine (matched odds ratio, 56.7; 95 percent confidence interval, 8.9 to infinity). The attributable risk in the population for intramuscular injections given in the 30 days before the onset of paralysis was 86 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 66 to 95 percent); that is, we estimate that 86 percent of the cases of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis in this population might have been prevented by the elimination of intramuscular injections within 30 days after exposure to oral poliovirus vaccine.
CONCLUSIONS:
Provocation paralysis, previously described only for wild-type poliovirus infection, may rarely occur in a child who receives multiple intramuscular injections shortly after exposure to oral poliovirus vaccine, either as a vaccine recipient or through contact with a recent recipient. This phenomenon may explain the high rate of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis in Romania, where the use of intramuscular injections of antibiotics in infants with febrile illness is common.

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Categories: . Vaccine, . Vaccine failure, . Vaccine-induced pathogen strain replacement

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