Vaccinations Successfully Stop Polio Spreading in Tajikistan
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently led an outbreak response assessment in mid-April 2022, concluding that poliovirus is no longer circulating in Tajikistan.
And the WHO recommended an official closure of the polio outbreak on April 28, 2022.
The outbreak in Tajikistan marked the first detection of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) in the WHO European Region.
Detection of just one polio case from a wild or vaccine-derived poliovirus is considered an outbreak and requires an immediate and comprehensive response, says the WHO.
The importation and subsequent spread of the poliovirus led to the paralysis of 34 children, and 26 others tested positive during 2022 without developing symptoms of paralysis.
It is now the first cVDPV2 outbreak globally to be declared officially closed following supplemental immunization using the novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2).
Extensive immunization with nOPV2 efforts began in February 2021, and no person or environmental sample in Tajikistan has tested positive since August.
Ending this outbreak using nOPV2 is an essential milestone for the global polio program. In addition, the innovative, novel vaccine is vital for the new strategy to stop cVDPV2s.
Clinical trials show that nOPV2 is safe, effective, and more genetically stable than the traditional type 2 oral polio vaccine.
“Tajikistan’s success in stopping this outbreak is a major achievement and a clear demonstration of the highest level of political commitment of the Government of Tajikistan,” commented Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.
“This outbreak and the subsequent response came when the COVID-19 pandemic overstretched the health system, and the country was mounting a massive COVID-19 vaccination drive.”
“Both outbreak responses had to be done without disrupting the vitally important provision of other routine vaccines to children.”
“We acknowledge the efforts of the Ministry of Health over the past several years, which resulted in a resilient immunization system able to successfully manage all these competing immunization priorities,” added Dr. Kluge in a related press release.
This WHO Region has been free of endemic poliovirus since 2002.
Tajikistan is a country in Central Asia surrounded by Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.
The U.S. CDC recently issued a Level 2 Travel Notice for this region regain polio outbreaks.
On March 21, 2022, the CDC stated that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series at least one month before travel.
Polio vaccines are generally available at pharmacies and travel clinics. Vaccine appointment requests can be submitted at this weblink.
Polio outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/polio.
Vax-Before-Travel publishes fact-checked research-based travel vaccine news.