Background: Oral polio vaccine (OPV) containing attenuated serotype 2 polioviruses was globally withdrawn in 2016, and bivalent OPV (bOPV) containing attenuated serotype 1 and 3 polioviruses needs to be withdrawn after the certification of eradication of all wild polioviruses to eliminate future risks from vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs). To minimize risks from VDPVs, the planning and implementation of bOPV withdrawal should build on the experience with withdrawing OPV containing serotype 2 polioviruses while taking into account similarities and differences between the three poliovirus serotypes.
Methods: We explored the risks from (i) a failure to synchronize OPV cessation and (ii) unauthorized post-cessation OPV use for serotypes 1 and 3 in the context of globally-coordinated future bOPV cessation and compared the results to similar analyses for serotype 2 OPV cessation.
Results: While the risks associated with a failure to synchronize cessation and unauthorized post-cessation OPV use appear to be substantially lower for serotype 3 polioviruses than for serotype 2 polioviruses, the risks for serotype 1 appear similar to those for serotype 2. Increasing population immunity to serotype 1 and 3 poliovirus transmission using pre-cessation bOPV supplemental immunization activities and inactivated poliovirus vaccine in routine immunization reduces the risks of circulating VDPVs associated with non-synchronized cessation or unauthorized OPV use.
Conclusions: The Global Polio Eradication Initiative should synchronize global bOPV cessation during a similar window of time as occurred for the global cessation of OPV containing serotype 2 polioviruses and should rigorously verify the absence of bOPV in immunization systems after its cessation.
Keywords: Dynamic modeling; Eradication; Oral poliovirus vaccine; Polio; Risk management; Vaccine-derived poliovirus.