Sanofi Pasteur pledges 1.7 billion polio vaccine doses

Sanofi Pasteur announced this week that it will give 1.7 billion worth of oral polio vaccines between 2013 and 2017 to help eradicate polio from the world.

The WHO, Rotary International, the CDC and UNICEF have manned a project called the Global Polio Eradication Initiative since 1988 in an effort to end polio throughout the world. Since that time, their efforts have seen a 99 percent reduction in polio cases.

"Wiping out polio for good is in sight and Sanofi Pasteur intends to remain an active contributor to achieve zero polio," Olivier Charmeil, the resident and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, said. "We believe that the introduction of IPV in routine polio immunization will consolidate the tremendous progress achieved over the last decades and ensure a polio-free world for the future. Sanofi Pasteur has been a leading provider of polio vaccines and a supporter of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for over 20 years. We intend to continue to be a major supporter of WHO and its partners to finish the job."

Sanofi Pasteur's oral polio vaccine protects against the three different strains of polio. Since 1988, Sanofi Pasteur has donated more than five billion doses to the cause.

"A strong and steady supply of polio vaccines will ensure that every child is fully protected against polio," John Hewko, the general secretary of the humanitarian service organization Rotary International, said. "Sanofi Pasteur's commitment of 1.7 billion vaccine doses comes at a crucial moment as we make the final push needed to end polio once and for all. On behalf of Rotary's 1.2 million members worldwide, I commend and thank Sanofi Pasteur for its steadfast support."