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J Infect Dis ; 224(9): 1529-1538, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196994


BACKGROUND: Pakistan and Afghanistan remain the only reservoirs of wild poliovirus transmission. Prior modeling suggested that before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, plans to stop the transmission of serotype 1 wild poliovirus (WPV1) and persistent serotype 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2) did not appear on track to succeed. METHODS: We updated an existing poliovirus transmission and Sabin-strain oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) evolution model for Pakistan and Afghanistan to characterize the impacts of immunization disruptions and restrictions on human interactions (ie, population mixing) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also consider different options for responding to outbreaks and for preventive supplementary immunization activities (SIAs). RESULTS: The modeling suggests that with some resumption of activities in the fall of 2020 to respond to cVDPV2 outbreaks and full resumption on 1 January 2021 of all polio immunization activities to pre-COVID-19 levels, Pakistan and Afghanistan would remain off-track for stopping all transmission through 2023 without improvements in quality. CONCLUSIONS: Using trivalent OPV (tOPV) for SIAs instead of serotype 2 monovalent OPV offers substantial benefits for ending the transmission of both WPV1 and cVDPV2, because tOPV increases population immunity for both serotypes 1 and 2 while requiring fewer SIA rounds, when effectively delivered in transmission areas.

COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Poliomyelitis/transmission , Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral , Poliovirus , Afghanistan/epidemiology , Disease Eradication , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics , Poliomyelitis/epidemiology , Poliomyelitis/prevention & control , Poliovirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
Risk Anal ; 41(2): 223-228, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084248


This introduction for the third special issue on modeling poliovirus risks provides context for the current status of global polio eradication efforts and gives an overview of the individual papers included in the issue. Although risk analysis continues to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), efforts to finish the job remained off track at the beginning of 2020 and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as discussed in the special issue. The disruptions associated with COVID-19 occurring now will inevitably change the polio eradication trajectory, and future studies will need to characterize the impacts of these disruptions on the polio endgame.

Poliomyelitis/epidemiology , Poliomyelitis/prevention & control , Poliomyelitis/transmission , Risk Assessment/methods , COVID-19 , Disease Eradication , Global Health , Humans , Immunization Programs , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , Poliovirus , Poliovirus Vaccines
Lancet Glob Health ; 8(10): e1345-e1351, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-755423


On Aug 25 2020, the Africa Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication declared that the WHO African region had interrupted transmission of all indigenous wild polioviruses. This declaration marks the African region as the fifth of the six WHO regions to celebrate this extraordinary achievement. Following the Yaoundé Declaration on Polio Eradication in Africa by heads of state and governments in 1996, Nelson Mandela launched the Kick Polio out of Africa campaign. In this Health Policy paper, we describe the long and turbulent journey to the certification of the interruption of wild poliovirus transmission, focusing on 2016-20, lessons learned, and the strategies and analyses that convinced the Regional Commission that the African region is free of wild polioviruses. This certification of the WHO African region shows the feasibility of polio eradication in countries with chronic insecurity, inaccessible and hard-to-reach populations, and weak health systems. Challenges have been daunting and the sacrifices enormous-dozens of health workers and volunteers have lost their lives in the pursuit of a polio-free Africa.

Disease Eradication/methods , Global Health , Poliomyelitis/prevention & control , World Health Organization , Africa , Humans , Poliomyelitis/transmission