$1.2 Billion More for Polio Vaccines — Precision Vaccinations

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced yesterday that it will provide $1.2 billion to support efforts to eradicate all forms of polio worldwide.

The new financial commitment, announced October 16, 2022, supports the implementation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) 2022-2026 strategy to eradicate wild poliovirus in the last two endemic countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Another concern is that countries that had previously eliminated all forms of poliovirus have recently reported new discoveries in sewage systems.

The United States (New York) and the United Kingdom each confirmed detection of variants of the poliovirus and were added to the World Health Organization outbreak list in September 2022.

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In addition, Malawi and Mozambique each detected cases of wild polio originating abroad in 2022.

To inform travelers about these polio risks, the US CDC’s “Alert – Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions” travel advisory states that anyone who is unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with unknown polio immunization status should complete the routine polio immunization series prior to any international travel should.

“Polio eradication is within reach. But as far as we’ve come, the disease remains a threat. If we work together, the world can end this disease,” Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, stated in a related press release.

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With its 2022-2026 strategy, GPEI is working to further integrate polio campaigns with broader health services and essential immunization programs. Increased use of an innovative new tool – the novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) – is needed to sustainably stop outbreaks of variant poliovirus.

The nOPV2 vaccine is genetically more stable than oral polio vaccines, with a lower risk of reversion to neurovirulence.

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As of May 2022, approximately 525 million nOPV2 doses have been administered in 22 countries.

Investing in GPEI also helps strengthen national health systems and ensure countries are better prepared to respond to future health threats. In addition, the strategy continues GPEI’s commitment to achieve gender equality at all program levels.

The Gates Foundation has donated nearly $5 billion to GPEI.

For more polio outbreak news and vaccine research, visit Vax-Before-Travel.com/Polio.

PrecisionVaccinations publishes fact-checked, research-based immunization news manually curated for mobile readership.

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