Nigerian children receiving the polio vaccine in Lagos.
The global target to eradicate polio is being missed because a number of countries are struggling to reach high vaccine coverage.
Monitoring sewage for virus allows for a quick public health response if any polio is detected.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Polio can be circulating through a community long before anyone is paralyzed. Monitoring sewage for the virus lets public health officials short-circuit this 'silent transmission.'
Vaccinations have saved countless lives and untold suffering, even though many adults still believe vaccines are bad for their children.
Vaccines have long been considered safe, but many people still believe they are not. A new study shows that people who think they know more than medical experts are more likely to believe that vaccine are not safe.
What will it take to finish polio off in the last three countries where it persists?
AP Photo/B.K. Bangash
Pakistan had only eight new diagnoses of polio in 2017. The virus' days look numbered – but health workers have their work cut out for them to eradicate the devastating disease once and for all.
The polio vaccination campaign in Nigeria is being hampered.
Flickr/Center for Disease Control
Social media rumours are putting Nigeria's vaccination campaigns at risk.
Current plans to eradicate polio mean keeping the virus alive – and risk restarting the epidemic.
A polio patient in an iron lung, 1940.
Vaccination is not to be taken for granted.
In Australia we still vaccinate against polio, but not tuberculosis. Why, and how do we decide?
Vaccinating against an infectious disease can stop once the threat of future transmission is deemed sufficiently low.
Children at a camp for people displaced by Boko Haram insurgents in North-East Nigeria.
More than 788 health facilities have been destroyed in parts of North-Eastern Nigeria captured by Boko Haram insurgents, crippling health services in the area.
Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland, where a measles outbreak in 2015 led to children being sickened in several states.
Jae C. Hong/AP
You may not know anyone with an infectious disease covered by the immunizations on the 2017 list of recommended vaccines. Here's why that doesn't matter, and why children still need to be protected.
Nigerian women who formed part of the country’s previous polio immunisation campaign.
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
A new polio outbreak in Nigeria has hampered the country's efforts to be declared polio free by 2017.
An Ethiopian boy receives a polio vaccination. Africa has done well with polio eradication but lags behind other vaccination efforts.
Every year hundreds of thousands of children die from vaccine-preventable diseases. Africa leaders could change this if they improved vaccination efforts.
Despite Nigeria's success in eradicating polio, it is struggling to get a grip on mother and child vaccinations.
Some adults and many children report a fear of needles.
As more vaccines have been developed, the challenge of delivering them with minimal pain and number of visits to the doctor has increased. Needle-free vaccinations might help.
Polio vaccinators carry boxes of polio vaccine drops as they head to the areas they have been appointed to administer the vaccine, in Karachi October 21 2014.
Researchers are piloting a smartphone app to collect better information about who is getting vaccinated and to design better incentives for health workers on vaccination drives.
The oral vaccine is the most common polio vaccine used in the world.
Recent polio outbreaks in Ukraine and Mali, caused by a vaccine-derived form of poliovirus, don't mean the vaccine isn't working. On the contrary, they are a reminder to keep up vaccination rates.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two countries that still have endemic levels of polio.
Eradicating the last 1% of polio cases in the world requires an endgame plan centred on immunisation and surveillance.
The Nigerian commissioner for health of Bauchi state, Sani Malam, administers a polio vaccine to a child during an immunisation drive.
The positive impact of the polio eradication initiatives on the continent can be felt across the health sector in other health programmes.
A health worker vaccinates children with drops of polio vaccine in a classroom in Lagos, Nigeria.
Nigeria's strategy to eliminate polio was so effective that it was duplicated to deal with ebola. So why did the country take so long to get off the list of polio-endemic countries?
Senegalese Mamou Tiang, who suffers from polio, begs for money outside a bank on a sidewalk in the capital Dakar.
It's been one year since the last polio case was reported in Africa. If the continent keeps this up, it could be declared polio free by 2018.