Logistical challenges and assumptions for modeling the failure of global cessation of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV)

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2019 Jul;18(7):725-736. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2019.1635463. Epub 2019 Jul 2.


Introduction: The inability to successfully stop all use of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) as part of the polio endgame and/or the possibilities of reintroduction of live polioviruses after successful OPV cessation may imply the need to restart OPV production and use, either temporarily or permanently. Areas covered: Complementing prior work that explored the risks of potential OPV restart, we discuss the logistical challenges and implications of restarting OPV in the future, and we develop appropriate assumptions for modeling the possibility of OPV restart. The complexity of phased cessation of the three OPV serotypes implies different potential combinations of OPV use long term. We explore the complexity of polio vaccine choices and key unresolved policy questions that may impact continuing and future use of OPV and/or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). We then characterize the assumptions required to quantitatively model OPV restart in prospective global-integrated economic policy models for the polio endgame. Expert commentary: Depending on the timing, restarting production of OPV would imply some likely delays associated with ramp-up, re-licensing, and other logistics that would impact the availability and costs of restarting the use of OPV in national immunization programs after globally coordinated cessation of one or more OPV serotypes.

Keywords: Polio; dynamic modeling; eradication; oral poliovirus vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Eradication
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Poliomyelitis / immunology
  • Poliomyelitis / prevention & control*
  • Poliovirus / immunology
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated / administration & dosage*
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral / administration & dosage*


  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral

Grant support

This paper was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [OPP1129391].