In 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was launched at the World Health Assembly (WHA), subsequently resulting in the global incidence of polio being reduced by more than 99% with the number of endemic countries decreasing from 125 to 2. The United States has been polio free for over 30 years with the last endemic case of polio occurring in 1979. The GPEI Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023 will result in a world where no child will ever again be paralyzed by any poliovirus anywhere.
Containment of eradicated polioviruses is a key objective of the GPEI Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023 and will be critical for maintaining the global polio-free status. Containment includes biosafety and biosecurity requirements for laboratories, vaccine production sites, or any other facility that handles or stores eradicated polioviruses, to minimize the risk of these viruses being released into the community.
The Task Force serves as the secretariat for the United States National Certification Committee (NCC). The NCC oversees activities to ensure that all poliovirus materials are destroyed, or safely and securely contained. The NCC assures and validates compliance with the global policy among U.S. laboratories and institutions.
Nearly every thread of the global public health fabric has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fight to eradicate polio is no different.
On any given day, when Walter Dowdle, PhD, would walk to work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he would have a