Policy ForumPolicy

OPV Cessation--the Final Step To a "Polio-Free" World

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Science  28 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5748, pp. 625-626
DOI: 10.1126/science.1115547

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The 20-year, U.S. $4 billion-dollar international effort to eradicate wild polioviruses now includes monovalent oral poliovirus type 1 vaccine (mOPV1), which was first given to 40 million children in India in April 2005. As this vaccine is being introduced to eliminate some of the last poliovirus reservoirs, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is planning for the eventual synchronized worldwide cessation of the routine use of all oral poliovirus vaccines (OPVs) because of their capacity to cause, rarely, outbreaks of paralytic poliomyelitis. This Policy Forum reviews the feasibility and implications of eventually stopping the use of live polio vaccines.