Document Type



Women and Child Health; Paediatrics and Child Health


Background: In Pakistan and other countries using oral polio vaccine (OPV), immunity to type 2 poliovirus is now maintained by a single dose of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in routine immunization, supplemented in outbreak settings by monovalent OPV type 2 (mOPV2) and IPV. While well-studied in clinical trials, population protection against poliovirus type 2 achieved in routine and outbreak settings is generally unknown.
Methods: We conducted two phases of a population-based serological survey of 7940 children aged 6-11 months old, between November 2016 and October 2017 from 13 polio high-risk locations in Pakistan.
Results: Type 2 seroprevalence was 50% among children born after trivalent OPV (tOPV) withdrawal (April 2016), with heterogeneity across survey areas. Supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) with mOPV2 followed by IPV improved population immunity, varying from 89% in Pishin to 64% in Killa Abdullah, with little observed marginal benefit of subsequent campaigns. In the other high-risk districts surveyed, a single SIA with IPV was conducted and appeared to improve immunity to 57% in Karachi to 84% in Khyber.
Conclusions: Our study documents declining population immunity following trivalent OPV withdrawal in Pakistan, and wide heterogeneity in the population impact of supplementary immunization campaigns. Differences between areas, attributable to vaccination campaign coverage, were far more important for type 2 humoral immunity than the number of vaccination campaigns or vaccines used. This emphasizes the importance of immunization campaign coverage for type 2 outbreak response in the final stages of polio eradication. Given the declining type 2 immunity in new birth cohorts it is also recommended that 2 or more doses of IPV should be introduced in the routine immunization program of Pakistan.


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Vaccine: X

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.