Polio's eradication still uncertain

December 26, 2007

Efforts to wipe out polio have stalled in recent years and eradication of the crippling disease remains a question mark, U.S. and world experts say.

Despite a 19-year campaign, outbreaks of polio continue to crop up, sometimes because of strains that mutate from the oral Sabin vaccine commonly used, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Eventually, experts say it will be necessary to switch to the Salk vaccine, which doesn't use live virus to achieve immunity, the newspaper said. However, that form of vaccine is more costly -- about $2.70 per dose, compared to 15 cents for the Sabin version.

Worldwide, polio's annual toll reached 2,000 last year after having fallen to 784 in 2003, the Post said.

However, a $100 million donation by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which requires a match by Rotary International, has infused energy into the effort.

"I sense great enthusiasm" for a renewed push to eradicate polio, said Robert Scott, a physician who heads Rotary's effort to halt the disease.

R. Bruce Aylward, a Canadian physician who directs the eradication initiative at the World Health Organization in Geneva, said agrees. "I have been in this a long time, and this is the first time I have seen an oversight committee say, 'This is going to be finished,' " he said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Plant-produced polio vaccines could help eradicate age old disease

Related Stories

Plant-produced polio vaccines could help eradicate age old disease

August 15, 2017
Plants have been used to produce a new vaccine against poliovirus in what is hoped to be a major step towards global eradication of the disease.

Update on global polio eradication and the polio vaccine

October 16, 2015
Shortly after the successful global Smallpox Eradication Programme (SEP) in the 80's, world leaders and public health officials announced a plan to eradicate poliomyelitis (polio) off the face of the Earth; the Pan American ...

Polio vaccination: Paper highlights final steps to polio eradication

April 2, 2015
April 12th 2015 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Jonas Salk's landmark polio vaccine trial results, which confirmed that the first vaccine against polio was safe and effective. A new review, which was published ...

Shift in vaccine use needed to eradicate polio: WHO experts

October 23, 2015
A World Health Organization expert panel called Friday for a shift in the kinds of vaccines used to fight polio, insisting full eradication of the crippling disease is within reach.

Creating safer polio vaccine strains for the post-eradication era

December 31, 2015
While the goal of polio virus eradication is in sight, there are concerns about post-eradication manufacturing and stockpiling vaccine stores containing live virus that could escape and repopulate the environment. A study ...

Injected vaccine could help eradicate polio

July 10, 2014
Re-introducing a type of polio vaccine that fell out of favour in the 1960s could hasten eradication of the disease, according to new research.

Recommended for you

Groundbreaking investigative effort identifies gonorrhea vaccine candidates

September 19, 2017
Researchers at Oregon State University have identified a pair of proteins that show promise as the basis for a gonorrhea vaccine.

Snail fever progression linked to nitric oxide production

September 14, 2017
Bilharzia, caused by a parasitic worm found in freshwater called Schistosoma, infects around 200 million people globally and its advance can lead to death, especially in children in developing countries.

Systems analysis points to links between Toxoplasma infection and common brain diseases

September 13, 2017
More than 2 billion people - nearly one out of every three humans on earth, including about 60 million people in the United States - have a lifelong infection with the brain-dwelling parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

Study clears important hurdle toward developing an HIV vaccine

September 13, 2017
An international team of researchers has demonstrated a way of overcoming one of the major stumbling blocks that has prevented the development of a vaccine against HIV: the ability to generate immune cells that stay in circulation ...

As 'flesh-eating' Leishmania come closer, a vaccine against them does, too

September 13, 2017
Parasites that ulcerate the skin, can disfigure the face, and may fatally mutilate its victim's internal organs are creeping closer to the southern edges of the United States.

Promising clinical trial results could give doctors a new tool against drug-resistant strains of malaria parasite

September 13, 2017
Tulane University researchers have developed a new drug that is effective against non-severe cases of malaria, according to results from an FDA-supervised clinical trial published in the latest issue of The Lancet Infectious ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.