New Vaccine to Protect Children in Côte d’Ivoire
Under the recommendation from the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018, the Ivorian government has introduced the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), a new vaccine to protect children, into routine immunization programs.
The plan was drawn up due to the spread of polio to over 20 virus-free countries in the past 10 years from regions still considered endemic areas.
Côte d’Ivoire has been implementing strategies from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which has members who support the plan, since 1997, the last time a polio type 2 case was reported. There has been no detection of wild polio cases in the country since July 2011.
By introducing IPV into routine immunization programs, Côte d’Ivoire will ensure the protection of 650,000 children every year from the virus. The first vaccines were administered at a ceremony on June 26.
The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 focuses on four objectives. The plan aims to identify and disrupt the transmission of the virus, create a stronger immunization system and withdraw the oral polio vaccine (OPV), contain the virus and use the knowledge, and help address other global health goals.
By removing OPV from immunization programs, Côte d’Ivoire is eliminating the chance of vaccine-derived polio, a small risk associated with the vaccine.
IPV, however, will increase the protection of children in the West African nation.
The plan was originally endorsed by the World Assembly in 2013 and organizations such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and United Nations Children’s Fund are helping to spearhead the plan.
– Matt Wotus
Sources: Gavi 1, Gavi 2, Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Photo: All Africa