Background: India presented many challenges to the global effort to eliminate the transmission of wild polioviruses (WPVs) and poliomyelitis, with the last case of WPV type 2 in the world reported in northern India in 1999 and WPV types 1 and 3 circulating until early 2011.
Methods: We used a differential equation-based model to characterize the dynamics of poliovirus transmission and various opportunities to increase and maintain high population immunity to poliovirus transmission for 2 high-risk areas in northern India. We explored options that India probably considered before 2011, to demonstrate the impact of strategies to accelerate WPV elimination and sustain high population immunity. We also characterized the impact of current and potential future vaccination strategies and explored the potential trade-offs associated with the various strategies.
Results: National immunization policy choices impact population immunity, which leads to different numbers of expected paralytic cases and risks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreaks. Assuming that India maintains high vaccination intensity everywhere, we do not anticipate issues with outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 infection following globally coordinated cessation of type 2-containting oral poliovirus vaccine use. We find a relatively modest potential role for inactivated poliovirus vaccine.
Conclusions: National policy makers should consider the impacts of their vaccine choices on population immunity to poliovirus transmission.
Keywords: IPV; OPV; eradication; polio; population immunity.
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