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Inactivated polio vaccine now introduced worldwide
Geneva, 9 May 2019 – After the introduction of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) into Zimbabwe and Mongolia’s routine immunisation programmes with Gavi’s support, every country worldwide, including all 73 Gavi-supported countries, have now introduced the vaccine which protects children against the disease.
“The commitment displayed by countries to introduce this vaccine so rapidly has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This is an unequalled achievement, which took the combined efforts of the global health community, governments and thousands of health workers across the globe. It is a global milestone in the fight against polio and we should all be proud of this effort, which moves us closer to a polio-free world.”
By the end of 2017 Gavi, backed by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Norway and the United Kingdom, had helped more than 75 million children to be immunised against polio with IPV. Nepal became the first Gavi-supported country to introduce the vaccine in September 2014, just ten months after the Gavi Board agreed to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) efforts as part of the global effort to eradicate polio. Mongolia and Zimbabwe became the last countries to introduce the vaccine in April 2019.
“Introducing IPV into routine immunisation programmes is a critical milestone on our journey towards a polio-free world,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization and Chair of the GPEI Polio Oversight Board. “It’s also vital that we use the infrastructure that has built up around polio immunisation programmes to ensure that all children receive other nationally-recommended vaccines. Achieving universal health coverage means making sure that all children, rich and poor, receive the same protection from vaccine-preventable diseases.”…