Posted on May 21, 2020
Carol Wells, District 6440 End Polio Now Chair, provided a very imformative update on the status of polio eraditation efforts and how they have been impacted by COVID-19.  On April 20, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative issued a call to action to support COVID-19 response.  Like many other organizations, GPEI which represents all of the partners in the polio eradication pivoted immediately. 

There was a pause in polio immunization until the second half of 2020.  All program, operational and human resources were redirected to focus on strengthening COVID-19 response.  The surveillance network was trained on COVID detection and contact tracing.  This redirection does not, however, mean that GPEI is abandoning its mission.  They will continue to ensure the availability of vaccine to rapidly vaccinate at risk communities, and they will prioritize vaccines for outbreak response.  They will strengthen the surveillance network that lies at the heart of the eradication efforts.  And, beginning in late 2020 they plan to begin rolling out a novel Oral Polio Vaccine that will help stop the spread of vaccine derived polio.