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December 25, 1996

Update: Mass Vaccination With Oral Poliovirus Vaccine—Asia and Europe, 1996

JAMA. 1996;276(24):1943. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540240021013

IN 1995, a group of 18 geographically contiguous countries in Europe, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East cooperated in conducting coordinated National Immunization Days (NIDs)* with oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV).1 The World Health Organization (WHO) had designated this effort "Operation MECACAR" (MEditerranean, CAucasus, and Central Asian Republics).† Operation MECACAR was repeated in 1996 with the addition of the Russian Federation. This report describes OPV coverage achieved during the mass vaccination campaign in 1996 and summarizes the impact of the NIDs on poliomyelitis incidence during 1995 and the first 6 months of 1996.

To maximize the geographic area covered and the number of children targeted simultaneously for mass vaccination campaigns with OPV, adjoining countries in Europe (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria [1995 only], Georgia, Russia [starting in 1996], and Turkey), Central Asia (Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), South Asia (Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan),