Regional workshop on the global oral polio vaccine “switch”

30–31 March 2016, Vienna, Austria

A globally synchronized "switch" from trivalent to bivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV) will take place between 17 April and 1 May 2016. As part of this critical step in polio eradication, 19 countries in the European Region will withdraw trivalent OPV from their routine immunization service and introduce bivalent OPV, or move to an inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)-only schedule.

WHO/Europe is organizing a regional workshop on the upcoming switch, with the following objectives: 

  • to brief countries on the global and regional status of meeting objective 2 of the Polio Eradication End-game Strategic Plan 2013–2018;
  • to discuss with countries their preparedness for the globally synchronized switch to bivalent OPV and to confirm their readiness;
  • to review validation of the withdrawal and disposal of trivalent OPV, with monitoring of the process;
  • to analyse the risks and threats to the switch plans and to discuss solutions;
  • to give countries an opportunity to discuss other issues related to the switch and learn from each other; and
  • to discuss with countries possible last-minute support required for the switch.