Doing More to Eradicate Polio

Over the centuries, polio has crippled many lives. Less than 40 years ago, polio was endemic in 125 countries around the world with more than 350,000 children paralyzed for life each year.(1) The step change in defeating the disease came in 1988, with the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), led by the World Health Organization. Since then, the number of people with paralysis has decreased by 99% and there are now only two countries with endemic wild poliovirus transmission (Pakistan and Afghanistan).(2) Sanofi has been involved in this fight from the beginning and continues to play a critical role in the delivery of polio vaccines.
A woman holding her baby in her arms, Nigeria
A woman holding her baby in her arms, Nigeria

Poliovirus: Infection to Disease


Virus enters body through the mouth via contaminated food or water, tainted with sewage

1. Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Polio + Prevention. Available at: Last accessed July 2021.   
2. Mayo Clinic. Polio.  Available at: Last accessed July 2021.

The Fight Against Polio is Not Over

Healthcare workers, patients, and researchers are taking on polio.  

of all infections result in irreversible paralysis
of infected people have no symptoms or very mild symptoms
In others,
initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs
Unfortunately, there is no treatment for polio.
Prevention is key!

Sources: WHO Introduction to Poliomyelitis and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative - WHO factsheet updated on July 22nd 2019 and

Three Serotypes of Wild Poliovirus

Immunity to one serotype does not confer immunity to the other two






The Story of Juan Guillermo Jiménez

Juan Guillermo Jiménez was infected by the poliovirus when he was young. He shares his story and his fight against the disease.

Did You Know?

Poliomyelitis mainly affects children under 5 years of age

More than 18 million people have been saved from paralysis as a result of the global effort to eradicate the disease

Among those paralyzed, 5% to 10% die when their respiratory muscles become immobilized

Factors That Influence Poliovirus Transmission

Individual immune system

Weak routine immunization systems

Hygiene habits, sanitation and water quality

Densely populated communities

Explore more

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  1. WHO. Fact sheet N°114. Updated July 2019. Accessed September 2020. Retrieved from:
  2. Polio Eradication. Accessed September 2020. Retrieved from:

MAT-GLB-2104690 v1 – 10/2021
This page last update: 10-2021