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Alma Sokolovic-Rasmussen

As new polio vaccine rolls out, world moves closer to complete eradication

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The Globe and Mail-22 Apr 2016: In a carefully synchronized move this week, the world’s health workers stopped using their traditional three-strain oral polio vaccine and switched to a simpler and safer two-strain vaccine. It means that the world is one step closer to its first complete eradication of a human disease since smallpox was eliminated in 1980. The co-ordinated switch in 150 countries is being described as the biggest and fastest rollout of a vaccine in history. Experts call it a key element in the “polio endgame strategy” – an endgame that could lead to the eradication of polio worldwide by the end of the decade. 
“It’s a landmark, a milestone,” said Gregory Agogo, the WHO official who was explaining the switch to the vaccinators at the refugee camp in Maiduguri this week. “But people don’t like to change the status quo, so we need to supervise it.”

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