OBJECTIVE: Review the World Health Organization (WHO) strategies for poliomyelitis control. DATA SOURCES: Retrieval of publications on poliomyelitis indexed in Medline, Lilacs and in the WHO and Health Ministry sites, from January 2000 to December 2006. DATA SYNTHESIS: Acknowledgement of vaccine-associated paralysis and oral vaccine-derived circulating viruses’ paralysis shall certainly require discontinuation of oral vaccination for poliomyelitis use in a short time. After eradication of the wild viruses, oral vaccination for poliomyelitis should be discontinued, preferably in a synchronized manner in all the countries. After termination of vaccination programs, people will become susceptible again to poliomyelitis virus and disease outbreaks caused by wild viruses may occur (accidental escape from laboratories or bioterrorism). In countries already using inactivated poliovirus vaccine, it is unlikely that vaccination will be interrupted. Countries that currently use exclusively oral poliovirus vaccine will have to rely on epidemiological surveillance and on oral vaccine inventories to control potential polio outbreaks. If the oral poliovirus vaccine is reintroduced in those populations, there will be again a risk for vaccine-associated paralysis and oral vaccine-derived circulating viruses’ that may spread rapidly to other regions and to nearby countries. CONCLUSIONS: Inactivated poliovirus vaccine introduction in the routine Brazilian vaccination calendar should be programmed as well as acquisition of technology for inactivated poliovirus vaccine production since the latter is currently insufficient to cover global demand.
poliomyelitis; immunization; poliovirus vaccine, oral; poliovirus vaccine, inactivated; paralysis