Abstract and Introduction
As of May 1, 2016, use of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) type 2 for routine and supplementary immunization activities ceased after a synchronized global switch from trivalent OPV (tOPV; containing Sabin strain types 1, 2, and 3) to bivalent OPV (bOPV; containing Sabin strain types 1 and 3) subsequent to the certified eradication of wild type poliovirus (WPV) type 2 in 2015.[1–3] Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks* occur when transmission of Sabin strain poliovirus is prolonged in underimmunized populations, allowing viral genetic reversion to neurovirulence, resulting in cases of paralytic polio.[1–3] Since the switch, monovalent OPV type 2 (mOPV2, containing Sabin strain type 2) has been used for response to cVDPV type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreaks; tOPV is used if cVDPV2 co-circulates with WPV type 1, and bOPV is used for cVDPV type 1 (cVDPV1) or type 3 (cVDPV3) outbreaks.[1–4] In November 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing procedure authorized limited use of type 2 novel OPV (nOPV2), a vaccine modified to be more genetically stable than the Sabin strain, for cVDPV2 outbreak response.[3,5] In October 2021, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (WHO’s principal advisory group) permitted wider use of nOPV2; however, current nOPV2 supply is limited. This report updates that of July 2019–February 2020 to describe global cVDPV outbreaks during January 2020–June 2021 (as of November 9, 2021)†. During this period, there were 44 cVDPV outbreaks of the three serotypes affecting 37 countries. The number of cVDPV2 cases increased from 366 in 2019 to 1,078 in 2020. A goal of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) 2022–2026 Strategic Plan is to better address the challenges to early CVDPV2 outbreak detection and initiate prompt and high coverage outbreak responses with available type 2 OPV to interrupt transmission by the end of 2023.