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Int J Infect Dis. 2012 Jun;16(6):e417-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Comparison of attitudes about polio, polio immunization, and barriers to polio eradication between primary health center physicians and private pediatricians in India.

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Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), Mumbai, India.



The objectives of this study were to compare attitudes and perceptions of primary health center (PHC) physicians and pediatricians in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar toward polio disease, immunization, and eradication, and to identify barriers to polio eradication.


PHC physicians from blocks with at least one confirmed polio case during January 2006 to June 2009 were selected for an in-person survey. Pediatricians were members of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics and were selected from a national directory of members for telephone or mail survey.


A higher percentage of PHC physicians than pediatricians reported that an unvaccinated child was susceptible to polio (82.1% vs. 63.0%, p<0.0001) and that polio disease was severe in a child aged 1-5 years (77.7% vs. 62.2%, p<0.0001). PHC physicians and pediatricians expressed confidence in the protectiveness and safety of oral polio vaccine and cited parents' lack of awareness of the importance of polio eradication as an important barrier to eradication. Strengthening routine immunization efforts was reported as the leading intervention required to eradicate polio.


PHC physicians and pediatricians support and have confidence in the success of polio eradication efforts. These findings will be useful for policy-makers involved in the planning of eradication strategies. Providers and parents need to maintain confidence in polio vaccination if polio is to be eradicated.

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