In May 2012, the World Health Assembly declared the completion of poliovirus eradication to be a “programmatic emergency for global public health” and called on the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop a comprehensive polio endgame strategy. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018, approved by the Executive Board of the WHO in January 2013, requires the removal of all oral polio vaccines (OPVs) in a phased manner, from both routine programmes and campaigns, to minimize the risk of new polio cases. This Endgame Strategic Plan aims to complete the interruption of wild poliovirus transmission globally and more rapidly detect and interrupt any new outbreaks due to vaccine-derived polioviruses.
In line with this, the Department of Health (DOH) issued Department Memorandum (DM) No. 2016-0146 entitled “Guidelines on the Disposal of the Remaining trivalent Oral Polio Vaccines (tOPV)”, which states that “All health facilities nationwide should stop using tOPV and dispose remaining stocks of tOPV after the designated switch day on 27 April 2016 to avoid re-emergence of circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses type 2. Ongoing use of tOPV after the switch day may threaten or postpone the global eradication of polio.” This answers for the first phase of the OPV removal.