In a follow-up on the polio outbreak in Syria, five new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported in the past week, bringing the total of cVDPV2 cases to 22, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

Image/CDC-/ Meredith Boyter Newlove, M.S., James Archer, M.S.
Image/CDC-/ Meredith Boyter Newlove, M.S., James Archer, M.S.

All cases had onset of paralysis between 3 March and 25 May.  Twenty-one of the cases are from Mayadeen district, Deir-Al-Zour governorate, and one case is from Raqua district, Raqua governorate.

In response to the outbreak, the Syrian Ministry of Health together with WHO, UNICEF and other health actors are planning to conduct two immunization rounds in Deir Ez-Zor with monovalent oral polio vaccine type-2 (mOPV2), targeting 328,000 children under five years of age. Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) will be used in the second round targeting 114,500 children aged between 2-24 months. The first round is expected to commence at latest by 8 July.

Arrangement of delivery of mOPV2 is finalized. Vaccines are expected to arrive in Beirut on 28 June for transport by road to Damascus. It is expected that the vaccines will reach Deir Ez-Zor by the middle of the first week of July.