The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has announced a $5.1 billion plan to eradicate polio globally by 2026. In August 2021, African countries were declared free of wild polio, leaving Afghanistan and Pakistan as the only remaining countries with endemic disease. Due to inadequate funding and a lack of political commitment, there has previously been limited success in trying to achieve a polio-free world. The coronavirus pandemic has added further challenges, bringing some polio vaccination programs to a halt.

The new initiative is set to focus on two key goals: integrating polio vaccination programs with other health care initiatives and focusing on areas with chronically low immunisation rates. The plan also ensures vaccine supply and outlines a communication strategy to increase vaccine acceptance. In addition to this, a new oral vaccine has been introduced and is thought to minimise the risk of vaccine-induced polio.

A key focus of the polio eradication program will be on immunising hard-to-reach communities, and training older female health workers, who are more successful in persuading caregivers to vaccinate their children. In order to reinstate polio eradication as a priority, even with competing health challenges in these cash poor countries, experts believe that programs designed to crush polio can also be used to help manage COVID-19 and other diseases.

To read more, follow the link below:
The New York Times: A Multibillion-Dollar Plan to End Polio, and Soon