PAHO issues update on poliovirus in the Americas

24 Mar 2023
Boy receives Aun nino recibe vacuna contra la poliomielitispolio vaccine
24 Mar 2023

Washington, DC, March 24, 2023 (PAHO) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has issued a new epidemiological update on the poliovirus situation in the region, including information on the case of vaccine-derived poliovirus recently reported by Peru.

In the Region of the Americas, in July 2022, the United States reported a case of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 in New York State. On 21 March, Peru notified PAHO/WHO of a confirmed case of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1. Both cases involved unvaccinated patients with no travel history.

In the epidemiological update of 23 March 2023, PAHO reiterated the risk of disease resurgence in the region due to low vaccination coverage. In 2021, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, coverage with the recommended three-dose polio vaccine regimen reached 80%, well below the 95% recommended by PAHO.

PAHO provides countries with recommendations to achieve and maintain polio vaccination coverage above 95% to minimize the risk of an outbreak, strengthen epidemiological surveillance, and to update national poliovirus event and outbreak preparedness and response plans.

PAHO continues to provide technical cooperation to health authorities of the region for the formulation, implementation, and monitoring of polio outbreak risk mitigation plans. The Organization is also supporting monitoring, improvements in vaccination coverage, surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis, and risk communication and outbreak response.