GAVI Alliance complements global polio eradication effort

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Countries eligible for GAVI Alliance support invited to apply for funding for inactivated polio vaccine until 2015

Poliomyelitis vaccination and immunization, Ethiopia

Poliomyelitis vaccination and immunization, Ethiopia.
Credit: WHO/P. Virot.

Geneva, 28 February 2014 – Following today’s announcement of UNICEF’s tender process, which makes accessible sufficient quantities of affordable inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), GAVI supported countries are expected to start introducing the vaccine by the end of the year.

“Today marks a big step forward in the global effort to tackle polio by accelerating the universal use of inactivated polio vaccine,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance.

“The announcement is a critical step towards up to 73 countries introducing IPV with GAVI’s support, with the first country anticipated to introduce later this year. We are entering an exciting phase for polio, taking the world one step closer to eradicating polio, and new efforts to strengthen routine immunisation which should see even more children benefit from the power of vaccines.”

Committed

Today marks a big step forward in the global effort to tackle polio by accelerating the universal use of Inactivated Polio Vaccine

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance

Last year, the GAVI Alliance committed to support IPV introduction into the routine immunisation programmes of up to 73 countries eligible for Alliance support. The GAVI Alliance’s objective related to polio eradication is to improve immunisation services in accordance with GAVI’s mission and goals while supporting eradication by harnessing the complementary strengths of the Alliance and Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in support of countries.

The GAVI Alliance has worked with GPEI to tailor its processes and support to help realise the ambitions inherent in the GPEI’s global eradication effort; these include every country in the world introducing IPV by the end of 2015.

Comprehensive plan

The introduction of IPV globally - prior to a phased removal of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) during 2016-2018 - is a major element of the comprehensive plan to end all polio disease and secure a polio-free future.

Removing OPV and adding IPV to routine immunisation programmes will eliminate the risk of vaccine-associated polio outbreaks. It will also will hasten the eradication of wild polio serotypes in the remaining endemic countries of Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

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+4 million

Gavi support had contributed to immunising more than four million children against rotavirus diarrhoea by the end of 2013.

WHO/UNICEF

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