Our Progress Against Polio

The number of countries with endemic polio has greatly decreased between 1988 and 2020, with only two countries remaining with wild poliovirus type 1 in circulation: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

CDC and its international partners have made significant progress toward polio eradication over the past 33 years.

  • The annual number of wild poliovirus cases has declined by more than 99.9% worldwide from an estimated 350,000 in 1988 when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched.
  • Of the three serotypes of wild poliovirus, type 2 was certified as eradicated in 2015 and type 3 was certified as eradicated in 2018.
  • The last evidence of wild poliovirus type 1 transmission in Nigeria was in September 2018, leaving only two polio-endemic countries (having never interrupted the transmission of indigenous wild poliovirus type 1), which are Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Five out of six World Health Organization regions are now certified wild poliovirus free—the African Region, the Americas, Europe, South East Asia and the Western Pacific.
  • Without our polio eradication efforts, more than 18 million people who are currently healthy would have been paralyzed by the virus.
  • Global polio eradication efforts stopped 14 of 29 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPVs) outbreaks active in 2019. Setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and polio outbreak response campaign quality must be addressed to regain progress and end every form of polio.

Learn more about CDC’s role and work towards a polio-free world.

For the latest polio reports, visit the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).external icon

Page last reviewed: March 19, 2021
Content source: Global Immunization