Poliomyelitis

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease, which invades the nervous system and can cause life-long paralysis. In June 2002, all 53 countries in the WHO European Region were certified polio free. A sustained effort of immunization and disease surveillance helps maintain the Region’s polio-free status and ensures that no polio case can be left undetected.

Maintaining the Region's polio-free status

Top story

Biorisk management training supports poliovirus containment in the European Region

WHO/Europe organized a poliovirus biorisk management training course on 17–20 May 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark for representatives from all 13 Member States in the European Region intending to keep type 2 wild poliovirus or vaccine-derived poliovirus materials for research or vaccine manufacturing purposes.

European Immunization Week

Each year in April, EIW promotes the core message that the immunization of every child is vital to prevent diseases and protect life. The goal of the region-wide campaign is to increase vaccination coverage by raising awareness of the importance of immunization. EIW 2016 was celebrated 24-30 April.

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Immunize Europe Forum

WHO/Europe is proud to announce the launch of a new online resource for the immunization community

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Publications

Immunization Highlights 2015

Annual report of WHO/Europe support to Member States in pursuit of the goals and objectives of the European Vaccine Action Plan 2015-2020 (EVAP)

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Immunization advocacy library

Tools for immunization programme managers and other stakeholders to advocate for prioritization of immunization in political agendas and public health budgets

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Polio Endgame Strategic Plan

The comprehensive, long-term strategy to deliver a polio-free world by 2018.

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Key resources

  • CISID

    WHO/Europe infectious disease data set, compiled from reports submitted by Member States

  • WHO EpiBrief and EpiData

    Summary and analysis of data on selected vaccine-preventable diseases

  • Polio laboratory data management system

    Information and resources for the Regional Polio Lab Network

  • CISID

    WHO/Europe infectious disease data set, compiled from reports submitted by Member States

  • Immunization Resource Centre

    Documents designed to assist health professionals in their day-to-day work as it relates to immunization

Data and statistics

1 in 200

infections with poliovirus leads to irreversible paralysis. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.

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