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).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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