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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686

Bull World Health Organ vol.80 n.2 Genebra Jan. 2002 

New research needed for polio endgame

WHO has prepared a research agenda to investigate how and when immunization against polio can be discontinued after polio eradication is achieved. The WHO Department of Vaccines and Biologicals is establishing a steering commmittee for this work; its task is to ensure that the Technical Consultative Group for Polio Eradication will have the relevant scientific data on the post-eradication vaccination policy options. These will be submitted to the World Health Assembly for a decision. The budget for the research agenda is US$ 1 million a year for the next five years. The following five areas of research will be covered:

• Surveillance for vaccine-derived polioviruses

• Effectiveness of inactivated polio

vaccine in stopping transmission of polioviruses

• How to discontinue oral polio vaccination safely if no alternative vaccine is used

• Long-term poliovirus excretors

• Type of vaccine to use for an outbreak response in the post-immunization era

For further information see research and development. Applicants for research grants should consult Dr David Wood (woodd@ if this is the first time they are applying.