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MedGenMed. 2003 Dec 18;5(4):35.

Policy decision options during the first 5 years following certification of polio eradication.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Immunization Program, Global Immunization Division, Polio Eradication Branch, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Policy makers face a number of difficult choices as they develop policies to ensure maintenance of a polio-free world following global eradication and certification. These policy decisions include choices about immunization, outbreak response (including whether to create a vaccine stockpile), surveillance, containment, management of chronic excretors, and investment in future research. This paper focuses on identifying the categories of decisions and characterizing the actual factors that country-level policy makers must weigh to manage polio risks during the first 5 years after certification. Building on a comprehensive literature review, we report the results of the first qualitative analysis to: (1) systematically characterize each type of decision and the relevant options during the first 5 years after certification, (2) clearly identify critical factors that influence the choices, and (3) specifically demonstrate the interdependence among the decisions to produce a reduced set of decision options. This paper explicitly focuses on the different perspectives of developed and developing countries in characterizing the options. While the management of polio risk in the postcertification period presents important challenges, this comprehensive approach helps simplify the process by focusing on critical decisions.

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