Polio Vaccination, Surveillance Teams Pivot To Assist COVID-19 Response, Look Forward To Resuming Immunization Campaigns

Scientific American: Coronavirus Pandemic Threatens to Derail Polio Eradication — but There’s a Silver Lining
“…The worldwide polio eradication effort was suspended in late March, bringing campaigning to a near halt. … But in spite of these setbacks, the global polio program’s adaptability may actually have a silver lining for the current pandemic. Many countries have been quick to realize the usefulness of the polio network — the largest immunization program of its kind in the world — in fighting the pandemic. Much of the network has been redeployed accordingly…” (Schwartzstein, 5/22).

WIRED: Polio Is Nearly Wiped Out. Covid-19 Could Halt That Progress
“…At the WHO, [Michel Zaffran, WHO’s director of polio eradication,] estimates that some vaccinations might resume by June, probably in response to new outbreaks; the big preventive campaigns won’t restart before July. But though the immunization campaign halted everywhere at once, it probably won’t resume that way. … The longer the pause goes on, the more catch-up the campaign will have to do — in an environment in which national health budgets will already have been drained by the Covid-19 response, and international donors’ fund may be spent down as well. It is hard to imagine that the pandemic could do yet more damage…” (McKenna, 5/21).

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