Nepal becomes first country to introduce IPV with Gavi support

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance said on Thursday that Nepal became the first country in the world to use its support in introducing inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in children.

The introduction is part of a wider plan to introduce IPV to dozens of countries with Gavi support. The plan will gradually phase out the oral polio vaccine, which is used in most developing countries.

"Nepal's introduction of IPV with Gavi support marks an important moment in the global effort to secure a polio-free future," Seth Berkley, the CEO of Gavi, said. "Gavi is working with partners to ensure that millions of children in the world's poorest countries are protected with IPV through routine immunization as an important step towards achieving global polio eradication."

Afghanistan and Pakistan are planning to introduce IPV by the end of next year. Nigeria, the third country with endemic polio, has applied to introduce IPV and is expected to receive approval soon.

Approximately 90 percent of Gavi-supported countries applied to introduce IPV less than a year after the Alliance Board agreed to fund the introductions. Gavi-eligible and graduating countries are allowed to apply to introduce IPV through the middle of 2015, and countries approved for IPV introductions can receive a one-time grant to support a share of the costs associated with introducing the vaccine.