Polio Vaccines

Polio Vaccines

Polio can be prevented with a vaccine. Since 2000, the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is the only polio vaccine that has been given in the USA. It is given by a shot in the arm or leg, depending on the person’s age, says the U.S. CDC. The oral polio vaccine (OPV) is offered in other countries.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) map indicates various countries continue to report new poliovirus cases. Since the launch of the GPEI in 1988 successfully decreased wild poliovirus cases by over 99%.

U.S. FDA Authorized Polio Vaccines

IPOL is a sterile suspension of three types of poliovirus: Type 1 (Mahoney), Type 2 (MEF-1), and Type 3 (Saukett). IPOL vaccine is a highly purified, inactivated poliovirus vaccine with enhanced potency that is administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously.

Combination Polio Vaccines

Kinrix (Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Adsorbed and Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine) is a noninfectious, sterile vaccine. 

Pediarix is a vaccine indicated for active immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and infection caused by all known subtypes of hepatitis B virus and poliomyelitis.

Quadracel contains diphtheria toxoid, tetanus toxoid, acellular pertussis [pertussis toxoid (PT), filamentous haemagglutinin (FHA), pertactin (PRN), fimbriae types 2 and 3 (FIM)], inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine.

Pentacel is indicated for active immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, and invasive disease due to H influenzae type b. Pentacel vaccine is approved for use as a 4-dose series in children 6 weeks through 4 years of age (prior to the fifth birthday).

All combination vaccines that also protect disease from Polio include the three types of poliovirus: Type 1 (Mahoney), Type 2 (MEF-1), and Type 3 (Saukett).

nOPV2 Vaccine Candidate

The GPEI established a novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) Working Group to manage and coordinate the rapid and effective rollout of nOPV2. The vaccine is a modified version of the existing type 2 monovalent OPV (mOPV2), that clinical trials have shown provides comparable protection against poliovirus while being more genetically stable and less likely to revert into a form which can cause paralysis.

nOPV2M4a Polio Vaccine candidate is derived from the live, infectious virus — but this time it has been ‘triple-locked’ using genetic engineering, to prevent it from becoming harmful.  nOPV2M4a is genetically more stable than existing OPVs, with a lower risk of reversion to neurovirulence.

The phased replacement during 2021 of Sabin OPV2 with novel OPV2 is expected to substantially reduce the source of cVDPV2 emergence, transmission, and subsequent risk of international spread.  Full licensure and pre-qualification of nOPV2 is not expected before 2022; therefore all countries at risk of cVDPV2 outbreak should consider preparing for nOPV2 use under the WHO Emergency Use Listing procedure.

Polio Vaccination News

November 18, 2020 - Outbreaks of vaccine-derived poliovirus have been reported in the African countries listed on this map. And, the U.S. CDC reissued a Level 2 Travel Alert regarding these polio outbreaks.

November 15, 2020 - A campaign aimed at vaccinating 1.5 million children against polio was recently launched in South Sudan, located in northern Africa.

November 13, 2020 - The WHO Prequalification program issued an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) recommendation for the type 2 novel oral polio vaccine (nOPV2). This will allow the rollout of the vaccine for limited initial use in countries affected by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreaks. The issuance of a EUL recommendation for nOPV2 follows months of analysis from clinical trials of the vaccine that has shown it to be safe and provide comparable protection against polio as the currently used type 2 monovalent OPV (mOPV2). nOPV2 is a modified version of mOPV2 and has been in development for close to a decade thanks to the collaboration of an extensive network of global experts.

November 5, 2020 - The World Health Organization and UNICEF issued an urgent call to action to avert major measles and polio epidemics around the globe.

November 4, 2020 - The Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported new polio cases in various countries.

October 29, 2020 - New polio vaccine poised to get emergency WHO approval. Nicholas Grassly, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Imperial College London, says that the roll-out can’t wait. He says the world is responding to cVDPV outbreaks using hundreds of millions of doses of the old type 2 polio vaccine, which are themselves seeding more outbreaks. The new vaccine, he adds, “is the only tool we have to stop this cycle”. Results from phase I trials of the vaccine were published in 2019. Two phase II trials have been completed, but results are as yet unpublished. However, manufacturer Bio Farma, headquartered in Bandung, Indonesia, has produced 160 million doses in anticipation that the WHO will grant an emergency-use listing while further trials are in progress.

October 25, 2020 - Ten countries reported a total of 87 new polio cases during the week of October 21, 2020, according to the latest Global Polio Eradication Initiative report. 

October 23, 2020 - The Lancet study: Safety and immunogenicity of inactivated poliovirus vaccine schedules for the post-eradication era: a randomized open-label, multicentre, phase 3, non-inferiority trial.

October 23, 2020 - World Polio Day is when the world comes together to celebrate the determination that has brought us 99% of the way to ending polio and reflect on the heights we must scale to defeat the disease completely. In the last eight months, immunization services have taken a devastating hit. An estimated 80 million children under one may have missed critical vaccines.

October 22, 2020 - The 26th meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) on the international spread of poliovirus was convened and opened by the WHO Deputy Director-General. The committee was very concerned that the international spread of cVDPV2 continues, causing new outbreaks in Guinea, South Sudan, and Sudan, the latter two due to the importation of a cVDPV2 lineage that emerged in Chad in 2019.  The same virus has also been detected in sewage in Cairo, Egypt but with no evidence of local circulation. The number of sub-types / lineages detected so far in 2020 is 27, compared to 42 for the whole of 2019, and the number of newly emerged viruses is only seven so far this year, compared to 38 during 2019. 

October 1, 2020 - Nearly 10 million doses of polio vaccine arrived in Khartoum. These vaccines will be used during the National Polio Campaign planned for October to immunize 8.6 million of the country's children under the age of five. On 8 August, vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) was confirmed in Sudan. This strain of poliovirus is the result of low immunity and under-immunization of communities, rather than a problem with the vaccine.

September 19, 2020 - Study: National immunization campaigns with oral polio vaccine may reduce all-cause mortality: An analysis of 13 years of demographic surveillance data from an urban African area.

August 2020 - Update on polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan for August 2020.

July 8, 2020 - The World Health Organization (WHO) Polio Emergency Committee recommended that the international risk of poliovirus spread remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under the International Health Regulations during a June 23, 2020, meeting. The global situation remains of great concern with the increased number of WPV1 cases that started in 2019 continuing in 2020.

December 15, 2020 - The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention increased the polio outbreak Travel Alert for 14 African countries. The CDC said in a new Level 2 Travel Alert published on December 11, 2019, that ‘there are confirmed polio outbreaks in various countries primarily located in central and eastern Africa.’

April 1, 2020 - Study: Events in Israel following the silent polio outbreak may indicate that social norms about polio vaccination are changing. After the outbreak, the Israel Ministry of Health switched back to a routine vaccination schedule that includes two IPV doses followed by an OPV booster. This schedule has been well accepted among the Israeli population (35), possibly indicating a shift to a more prosocial norm.

June 25, 2019 - Study: Immunogenicity of Oral Polio Vaccine and Salk Inactive Polio Vaccine Against Xinjiang Imported Type 1 Wild Poliovirus.

October 30, 2018 - Study: OPV Vaccination and Shedding Patterns in Mexican and US Children.

May 19, 2016 - Humoral and intestinal immunity induced by new schedules of bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine and one or two doses of inactivated poliovirus vaccine in Latin American infants: an open-label randomized controlled trial.

Poliomyelitis (polio) Overview

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease that primarily affects children 5 years of age and under. There are 3 strains of wild poliovirus (type 1, type 2, and type 3).

Wild poliovirus type 2 was eradicated in 1999 and no case of wild poliovirus type 3 has been found since the last reported case in Nigeria in November 2012. Both strains have officially been certified as globally eradicated. 

As of 2020, wild poliovirus type 1 is still found in two countries: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Polio is transmitted person-to-person, mainly through the fecal-oral route or, less frequently by consuming contaminated food or water.  The virus multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis. Initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, and stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs.

One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs). Among those paralyzed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized, says Sanofi.

Note: This content has been aggregated from the CDC, WHO, pharmaceutical vaccine producers, and the PrecisionVaccinations news network, and has been reviewed by healthcare providers, such as Dr, Bob Carlson.