JOURNAL ARTICLE
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History of polio vaccination.

Poliomyelitis is an acute paralytic disease caused by three poliovirus (PV) serotypes. Less than 1% of PV infections result in acute flaccid paralysis. The disease was controlled using the formalin-inactivated Salk polio vaccine (IPV) and the Sabin oral polio vaccine (OPV). Global poliomyelitis eradication was proposed in 1988 by the World Health Organization to its member states. The strategic plan established the activities required for polio eradication, certification for regions, OPV cessation phase and post-OPV phase. OPV is the vaccine of choice for the poliomyelitis eradication program because it induces both a systemic and mucosal immune response. The major risks of OPV vaccination are the appearance of Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis cases (VAPP) and the emergence of Vaccine Derived Polioviruses strains. The supplementary immunization with monovalent strains of OPV type 1 or type 3 or with a new bivalent oral polio vaccine bOPV (containing type 1 and type 3 PV) has been introduced in those regions where the virus has been difficult to control. Most countries have switched the schedule of vaccination by using IPV instead of OPV because it poses no risk of vaccine-related disease. Until 2008, poliomyelitis was controlled in Romania, an Eastern European country, predominantly using OPV. The alternative vaccination schedule (IPV/OPV) was implemented starting in September 2008, while beginning in 2009, the vaccination was IPV only. The risk of VAPP will disappear worldwide with the cessation of use of OPV. The immunization for polio must be maintained for at least 5 to 10 years using IPV.

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