London: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a new vaccine swap to eradicate the last few strains of the disease in 150 different countries.
Over the next two weeks, the countries will engage in a synchronised switch to a two-strain vaccine which tackles the remaining variations of the wild polio virus – type 1 and type 3, the Independent reported.
The transmission of type 2 polio was eradicated in 1999, meaning immunising against it now is pointless.
Following 30 years of the successful immunisation programme, just 12 cases were recorded worldwide this year, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and experts predict the disease could be wiped out for good within a decade.
As per the WHO’s director of polio eradication, Michel Zaffran, the failure of the programme now means the virus could spread across borders once again.
He added that the job has not been done and will not be done until the virus has been fully eradicated.