World Polio Uprooting Task Gets $1.2B From Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $1.2 billion at the World Health Summit in anticipation of the polio pledging event.

With this funding, Bio Farma’s novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2), a vaccine that took ten years to develop, will be used more widely as part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s efforts to eliminate the disease. The vaccine has just been awarded a purchase offer by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the years 2022 and 2023, and it has been endorsed under the WHO’s emergency use classification.

The aim of GPEI is to provide polio immunizations and other health services to 370 million children per year. The coalition aims to deepen relationships with communities, support governments in their response to outbreaks, and advance the rollout of a next-generation polio vaccine in order to stop the spread of novel polio variants and totally eliminate wild poliovirus in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan, the last two endemic countries.

The eradication of polio is feasible. Despite the progress, the disease still poses a hazard. The initiative needs $4.8 billion in funding, and Bill Gates urged other philanthropists to help it. Working collectively, the world can eradicate this illness, he added.

Since 1988, the GPEI has contributed to a greater than 99% reduction in polio incidence worldwide, preventing an expected 20 million paralytic cases. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation statement noted that interruptions to routine immunisation, vaccine misunderstandings, political turmoil, and this year’s floods in Pakistan have all hampered efforts.

The virus has lately been reported in nations that had previously eradicated all strains of it, such as the United States as well as the United Kingdom, which were both added to the WHO’s 2022 outbreak list. This is despite the initiative’s best efforts.