June 2021



POLIO NEWS                    JUNE 2021


Dear polio eradication supporter,

Thank you for your continued commitment as the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) launches its new Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026. On 10 June, global leaders, health workers and donors came together for a virtual launch event, “Delivering on the Promise of a Polio-Free World.” Sharing live and pre-recorded content from GPEI partners, the launch featured updates on the rollout of novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2), the story of a day in the life of a frontline health worker and remarks from programme leaders on how investing in the GPEI strengthens health systems everywhere. The event marked a moment of greater government ownership of the eradication effort and renewed support for a world without polio.


UAE and UK champion gender

In advance of the launch of the new strategy, which has prioritized gender as key to eradication, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Kingdom (UK) hosted a high-level virtual dialogue on gender and immunization – from polio to COVID – applying the lessons of polio to position women as immunization champions for COVID-19 and other vaccines. The closing call to action was delivered by UK Minister Wendy Morton – a GPEI Gender Champion. 


G7 leaders recommit to ending polio

At their annual meeting, Heads of State and Health Ministers from G7 countries reaffirmed their support for working toward polio-free futures for all children. Learn more about their calls for a “global pandemic radar”, built from years of strengthening critical polio programme surveillance infrastructure.


Positive progress in Pakistan

Regional Directors from WHO and UNICEF traveled to Pakistan this month to recognize the country’s recent progress against wild poliovirus. Read here about the Directors’ meeting with PM Imran Khan and other government leaders, and their visit to immunization centers in areas where polio remains a persistent challenge.


Philippines stop outbreak

After 16 months of vigilant viral tracking without a single case, health officials closed an outbreak of vaccine-derived poliovirus in the Philippines this past month. See how this “major win for public health” was made possible by intensified surveillance, strengthened immunization campaigns and critical cooperation between GPEI members and government leadership.



Wild Poliovirus in 2021 (2020)*

Global Total:      2 (67)

Circulating Vaccine Derived Poliovirus in 2021 (2020)*

Global Total:      129 (137)

*Data as of 22 June 2021. Numbers in brackets represent data at this time in 2020.

Breakdown by country
Polio this week



The New York Times: A multibillion-dollar plan to end polio, and soon

Al Jazeera: We cannot afford to give up our fight against polio now

The Guardian: Eradicating polio is finally within reach. Why is the UK taking its foot off the pedal?



The GPEI thanks the Gambia for its financial contribution of US$ 150 000 toward polio activities support.



A child receives the polio vaccine during programme leadership’s visit to Pakistan in June. ©UNICEF/Pakistan


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