Opinion Pieces Discuss Global Efforts Needed To Eradicate Polio

TIME: What Must Be Done to Create a World Without Polio
Barry Rassin, president of Rotary International, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO; both organizations are members of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative

“…[D]elivering vaccines is no simple task. Polio has taken refuge in some of the most complex and dynamic environments in the world. But over time we’ve learned how to deliver health services in the face of extreme adversity, even in areas with almost no infrastructure. … Our [partnership, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative,] has also demonstrated its capacity to operate strategically, despite insecurity. … We have also worked globally to strengthen local health systems and respond to community needs beyond polio vaccination. … These examples illustrate the tenacity of this coalition, which — thanks to committed vaccinators, donors, and advocates around the world — has come so far since making that promise in 1988 to rid the world of polio. We are so close to keeping that promise. We have seen how readily the virus can push back, but we are more committed than ever before” (10/24).

Devex: The biggest threat to a polio-free world? Our own complacency
David Loew, executive vice president of Sanofi and the head of Sanofi Pasteur

“…When the world is polio-free, we must face a foe as powerful as the disease itself: our own complacency. We all need to continue to commit to immunizing children against polio for several decades. … The good news is that there is a reliable way to protect against the deaths and paralysis that polio could otherwise cause in future generations: A vaccine without any live virus can be made part of the series of routine injections that every child already receives. … The global plan is to stop using [oral polio vaccine (OPV)] after polio eradication and use only [inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)] to prevent re-emergence — provided there is enough IPV. … Sanofi Pasteur has been part of the polio eradication program since the beginning but, should there be any future delays or failures, we are unlikely to have the capacity to supply the whole world. … I do support the desire to rely on more manufacturers to produce IPV. Diversification must, though, be planned and — to use the jargon — ‘de-risked.’ … The historic success of ending polio is close and we should make sure that everything is in place to get there…” (10/24).

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