1 Billion Novel Polio Vaccinations Administered
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) recently launched a Make Polio History campaign to rally supporters of polio eradication. This effort included the novel oral polio type 2 (nOPV2) vaccine, which was launched in response to poliovirus type 2 outbreaks,
Over the past three years, approximately 1 billion nOPV2 doses have been administered in more than 35 countries worldwide, says the GPEI.
To enhance the use of this new polio vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) prequalified the nOPV2 in late 2023.
The WHO's decision came years after nOPV2 became the first vaccine to receive a WHO Emergency Use Listing to protect children worldwide.
The development of nOPV2 builds upon decades of research on oral polio vaccines, wrote PATH on January 9, 2024.
Researchers banded together to test a modified version of the existing type 2 Sabin oral polio vaccine.
"We proposed design modifications that we believed held the potential for creating a more genetically stable vaccine," said Andrew Macadam, Ph.D., a principal scientist at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the U.K. and one of the developers of nOPV2.
"It is gratifying to know that this research culminated in a product that protects millions of children worldwide and helps accelerate the end of a horrible disease."
Since 2015, PATH has served as the convener of the nOPV2 product development consortium —facilitating data-sharing and coordination among partners and providing technical assistance, such as developing assays to assess the stability of vaccine attenuation and supporting evaluation of surveillance data.
PATH's unedited article is available at this link.
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In the United States, the nOPV2 vaccine is unavailable. In the U.S., the inactivated polio vaccine has been given since 2000.
The U.S. CDC recommends vaccinating all children to protect against polio or poliomyelitis. The IPV is given by a shot in the leg or arm, depending on the patient's age.