By: Roos, Robert
Low-income countries supported by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) will have access to the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in 10-dose vials for as little as $1 per dose, according to UNICEF, thanks to its bidding process. Beginning in July, UNICEF also will offer 10-dose vials of IPV to middle-income countries for $2.04 to $3.28 per dose. Additionally, GAVI-supported and middle-income countries can purchase five-dose vials for $1.90 per dose and single-dose vials for $2.80 apiece. The agency’s announcement is part of a push to make IPV part of global routine immunization programs by the end of 2015 in accordance with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 and before the oral polio vaccine is phased out between 2016 and 2018. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its position paper on polio vaccines, which urges the use of IPV to prevent the re-emergence of type 2 polio once the oral type 2 vaccines are eliminated. The WHO says at least one dose of IPV should be added to the immunization schedule in countries where the schedules call only for the oral vaccine, and residents of countries where polio remains active should receive one dose of either vaccine within four weeks to 12 months prior to any trips abroad. In other news, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control released a technical report calling for stronger polio defenses in European countries given recent outbreaks in Syria, the Horn of Africa, and Israel. Because the monovalent or bivalent oral polio vaccine is licensed only in five European countries and is the vaccine of choice for responding to an outbreak, the report urges countries to be proactive when it comes to licensing.
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