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New polio vaccine may end disease

GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- A new oral polio vaccine holds the potential to wipe out two wild strains of the crippling disease worldwide, the World Health Organization in Switzerland says.

The newly developed bivalent oral polio vaccine for types 1 and 3 produces a stronger immune response compared with the earlier trivalent vaccine for types 1, 2 and 3, the international health agency says.

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Dr. Roland Sutter of the WHO's Polio Eradication Department in Geneva and colleagues have hopes the new vaccine may end the disease worldwide, Medpage reported.

The randomized, double-blind trial in India, where type 2 polio no longer circulates, found double doses of the bivalent vaccine against poliovirus types 1 and 3 produced immunity rates of 90 percent in type 1 and 84 percent in type 3.

The new bivalent polio vaccine is poised to "accelerate the elimination of the final chains of transmission of these two remaining wild polioviruses," Sutter and colleagues say in the study published in The Lancet.

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