Polio Featured Items

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water, and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system. Many infected people have no symptoms, but do excrete the virus in their faeces, hence transmitting infection to others. Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent. Polio can only be prevented by immunization.

The 24th of October is World Polio Day. This year's celebration is extra special, as 2018 marks 27 years without polio in the Region of the Americas. This enormous achievement is shared by countries and partners. However, poliovirus is still circulating in few countries of the world. Until polio is eradicated everywhere, the global population will continue to be at risk. World Polio Day is an opportunity to renew the commitment to the polio eradication endgame and begin preparing for the documentation and certification process for global eradication. PAHO has created the below graphics that can be downloaded and shared on social media!


Below is a summary of the recent reports that carry recommendations on global polio eradication. These reports include the following advisory committees: PAHO's Technical Advisory Group on Vaccine-Preventable Disease (TAG); the Global Certification Commission (GCC), WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), the International Health Regulations' Emergency Committee Regarding the International Spread of Poliovirus (IHR), and the Containment Advisory Group (CAG).


 Technical Advisory Group on Vaccine-Preventable Disease (TAG)

Final report of the 3rd Ad-Hoc Meeting of the TAG. Ad-hoc Virtual Meeting, 19 March 2018
pdf Final Report of the 3rd Ad-Hoc Meeting of the TAG. Ad-hoc Virtual Meeting, 19 March 2018
General polio topics covered: IPV supply update and update on implementation of fIPV preparation in the Region

Final report of the XXIV TAG Meeting, held in Panama, Panama, 12-14 July 2017
pdf Final Report of the XXIV TAG Meeting, held in Panama, Panama, 12-14 July 2017
General polio topics covered: Risk assessment, containment, IPV supply situation, fIPV recommendations,

Final report of the 2nd Ad-Hoc Meeting of the TAG. Ad-hoc Virtual Meeting, March 10, 2017
pdf Final Report of the 2nd Ad-Hoc Meeting of the TAG. Ad-hoc Virtual Meeting, March 10, 2017
General polio topics covered: Risk assessment, containment, IPV supply situation, fIPV recommendations,

Global Certification Commission on Polio Eradication (GCC)

report17thmeetinggccep2018 e
Report from the Seventeenth Meeting, 26-27 February 2018, Geneva, Switzerland
General polio topics covered: Progress towards eradication, risk based approach to certification, GCC updated role, surveillance and certification


Report from the Sixteenth, 4-5 July 2017, Meeting, Paris France
Report from the Sixteenth, 4-5 July 2017, Meeting, Paris France
General polio topics covered: General updates, harmonization of risk assessment, certification standards

14th meeting of the GCC, 20-21 September, 2015, Bali, Indonesia
14th meeting of the GCC, 20-21 September, 2015, Bali, Indonesia
General polio topics covered: Declaration of the global eradication of wild poliovirus type 2

Statements of the International Health Regulations' Emergency Committee Regarding the International Spread of Poliovirus (IHR)


WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE)

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Report of the SAGE conclusions and recommendations from the meeting of April 2018
General polio topics covered: Review progress towards global polio eradication, harmonize recommendations of SAGE and GAPIII on post-eradication polio schedule, review VDPV outbreak response protocol, review post-certification strategy, review criteria for certification of eradication.

Report of the SAGE conclusions and recommendations from the meeting of October 2017
Report of the SAGE conclusions and recommendations from the meeting of October 2017
General polio topics covered: Review GPEI programme update, including VDPV epidemiology and IPV supply situation, recommendations on IPV catch up, discussions on readiness criteria for bOPV withdrawal

Report of the SAGE conclusions and recommendations from the meeting of April 2017
Report of the SAGE conclusions and recommendations from the meeting of April 2017
General polio topics covered: Review GPEI programme update, IPV supply situation, proposal on future immunization policy with IPV after OPV withdrawal

Containment Advisory Group (CAG)


For more information on global progress and recommendation on containment, visit the GPEI site on containment


Following the recommendation of the Technical Advisory Group on Vaccine Preventable Diseases (TAG) of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) issued in March and July 2017, regarding the implementation of fractional doses of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (fIPV) in the routine immunization schedule, the PAHO/WHO Immunization Unit has prepared the following materials to support countries in planning and implementation process of fIPV.


Practical Guide: Implementation of fractional doses of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (fIPV) pdf Practical Guide: Implementation of fractional doses of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (fIPV)
Guide to support countries in planning and implementing fractional doses of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (fIPV) in the routine immunization schedule.


The 24th of October is World Polio Day. This year's celebration is extra special, as 2017 marks 26 years without polio in the Region of the Americas. This enormous achievement is shared by countries and partners. However, poliovirus is still circulating in 3 countries of the world. Until polio is eradicated everywhere, the global population will continue to be at risk. World Polio Day is an opportunity to renew the commitment to the polio eradication endgame and begin preparing for the documentation and certification process for global eradication. PAHO has created the below infographics that can be downloaded and shared on social media!


WHO initially published a two part document on Standard Operating Procedures for Responding to a Poliovirus Event and Outbreak. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) combined and adapted this two part document for the Region of the Americas, and shared with countries in November 2016, and discussed at a Regional meeting in December.

Recently, WHO revised some of the recommendations in the guidelines for type 2 outbreak response. The key objectives, strategic principles, and general operational components of the response remain unchanged. The primary modifications are summarized below. By the end of the year, another revision of these guidelines will be developed by WHO. However, in the meantime, it is required for countries of the Region to consider these changes into their national polio outbreak plans.


Polio News

Two out of three wild poliovirus strains eradicated

In an historic announcement on World Polio Day, an independent commission of experts concluded that wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) has been eradicated worldwide. Following the eradication of smallpox and wild poliovirus type 2, this news represents a historic achievement for humanity. 

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