4.3.1  Oral administration of OPV

OPV is a clear red or yellow liquid vaccine that may come in either of two types of containers:

  • Small plastic bottles that work like droppers – the drops are given directly from the dropper into the baby’s mouth.
  • Glass vials with a dropper (also made of glass) supplied in a separate plastic bag. Remove the metal or plastic cap from the vial of OPV. Then cut open the plastic bag containing the dropper and fit it onto the top of the OPV vial (Figure 4.20) before use.
Figure 4.20  (a) Removing a dropper from its plastic bag, and (b) fitting it on top of a vial of OPV. (Source: WHO, 1998, Immunization in Practice, Module 8, During a Session: Giving Immunizations, Figure 8-E)

Ask the parent or carer to hold the child firmly with the child lying on its back. Then open the child’s mouth by squeezing the cheeks gently between your fingers to make the child’s lips point outward. Hold the dropper over the child’s mouth at an angle of 45 degrees (Figure 4.21) and let two drops of the vaccine fall from the dropper onto the child’s tongue. If the child spits out the vaccine or vomits, give another dose immediately.

Figure 4.21  OPV drops being administered to a newborn baby. (Photo: Dr Kalid Asrat)

4.3  Oral administration of vaccines

4.3.2  Oral rotavirus vaccine