Globally coordinated cessation of all three serotypes of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) represents a critical part of a successful polio endgame, which the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) plans to conduct in phases, with serotype 2 OPV cessation completed in mid 2016. Although in 2016 the GPEI expected to globally coordinate cessation of the remaining OPV serotypes (1 and 3) by 2021, continuing transmission of serotype 1 wild polioviruses to date makes those plans obsolete. With increasing time since the last reported polio case caused by serotype 3 wild poliovirus (in November 2012) leading to high confidence about its successful global eradication, the Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication recently certified its eradication. Questions now arise about the optimal timing of serotype 3 OPV (OPV3) cessation. Using an integrated global model that characterizes the risks, costs, and benefits of global polio policy and risk management options, we explored the implications of different options for coordinated cessation of OPV3 prior to COVID-19. Globally coordinating cessation of OPV3 as soon as possible offers the opportunity to reduce cases of vaccine-associated paralytic polio globally. In addition, earlier cessation of OPV3 should reduce the risks of creating serotype 3 circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses after OPV3 cessation, which represents a significant threat to the polio endgame given current GPEI plans to reduce preventive OPV supplemental immunization activities starting in 2019.
Keywords: Dynamic modeling; eradication; oral poliovirus vaccine; polio.
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