Polio is expected to be eradicated by the end of 2018. WHOs strategy for a polio-free world is to immunize every child until transmission stops. After polio eradication, it is recommended to use inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) instead of the widely used oral polio vaccine.
While industrialized countries have made the switch to IPV, costs are a major hurdle for developing countries. Moreover, current IPV supply is limited and safer ways to produce IPV throughout the world are needed when polio has been eradicated.
Safe and immunogenic in infants
IPV v2.0 provides the answer. Upon request of the WHO, the Institute for Translational Vaccinology developed a production process for the so-called sIPV. Over 50 years of IPV manufacturing experience available in Bilthoven was combined with the use of weakened polioviruses. Recently, the resulting sIPV was shown to be safe and immunogenic in infants.
The approach currently used increased the biosafety of the manufacturing process, which makes worldwide production of IPV possible. Following the currently ongoing technology transfer, vaccine production in developing countries will increase both availability and affordability of IPV. This supports the future world to remain polio free.