Background: Nigeria continues to struggle in its efforts to eliminate circulating live polioviruses using oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV).
Methods: We modeled population immunity, and we estimated cases and the timing of transmission die-out for numerous policies that could accelerate the elimination of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) and help Nigeria manage the risks of circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs). We used a differential-equation based poliovirus transmission and OPV evolution model focused on northwest Nigeria to characterize the impact and trade-offs of potential vaccination strategies, including the introduction of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV).
Results: Northwest Nigeria appears close to reaching the threshold of population immunity it must exceed to stop WPV1 transmission if it continues immunizing previously under-vaccinated children. Avoiding type 2 cVDPVs (cVDPV2s) will depend on using sufficient amounts of trivalent OPV, which will also reduce the risks of cVDPV2s after coordinated cessation of type 2-containing OPV (OPV2). Using IPV during the OPV cessation period may increase population immunity, but it leads to a much lower impact on cVDPV risks than ensuring sufficient trivalent OPV use prior to OPV2 cessation.
Conclusions: Northwest Nigeria needs to intensify and sustain its immunization efforts to achieve and maintain higher levels of population immunity.
Keywords: IPV; OPV; eradication; polio; population immunity.
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