Research supports global switch to new polio vaccine strategyMay 22, 2016
A groundbreaking study shows that a single injectable dose of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) along with bivalent oral polio vaccine could protect up to 90 percent of children from polio and strengthen community protection against the disease.
This research provides the evidence behind the worldwide switch to a new polio vaccine strategy by demonstrating that new schedules of injectable vaccine with bivalent oral vaccine protects children faster and is more reliable than the oral vaccine, alone.
“Although we are closer than ever in our fight to eradicate polio from the globe, there are still challenges in Pakistan and Afghanistan, especially in the war-torn or politically unstable areas of these countries,” said Dr. Edwin Asturias, lead researcher of the study at the Center for Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, and pediatric infectious disease physician at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Up until now, most underdeveloped countries used solely three-component oral polio vaccines given over multiple months. While effective, poor health and sanitation has meant that many children need multiple doses to achieve the necessary protection.
"Making a single injectable vaccine available especially in these coutries will accelerate the worldwide eradication of the crippling disease," added Dr. Asturias.
The study was sponsored by FIDEC, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, collaborated by stakeholders of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and conducted over 12 months with more than 1,400 subjects in Guatemala, Colombia, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
The findings have implications for routine immunization today, as well as polio outbreak response strategies in the future. It also confirms the importance of the polio vaccine switch strategy and the feasibility of achieving a polio-free world.