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October 2016

The Globally Synchronized Switch—Another Milestone Toward Achieving Polio Eradication

Author Affiliations
  • 1Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(10):927-928. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1718

To avoid the risks for vaccine-associated paralytic polio1 and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks,2 the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan3 2013-2018 directs the phasing out of all oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) use after wild poliovirus (WPV) is eradicated. This has started with the type 2 component in the vaccine. From April 17 through May 1, 2016, 155 countries using trivalent OPV (tOPV) (Sabin strains of types 1, 2, and 3) in their national immunization schedules removed it and introduced bivalent OPV (bOPV) (Sabin strains of types 1 and 3).3 This massive public health event required the engagement of every health facility providing vaccines in each of these countries. This unprecedented, synchronized vaccine introduction and withdrawal is termed the switch.4,5

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