Vaccine Derived Polio Virus: nCOP2 Vaccine added by WHO to Emergency Use Listing

The World Health Organisation has added a vaccine to its Emergency Use Listings. The vaccine added is the nCOP2 developed by Bio Farma of Indonesia. The vaccine has been developed to treat derived polio virus strain. This is being done in the backdrop of increasing cases of vaccine derived poliovirus between 2010 and 2019.


This approval of WHO is first of its kind. According to the World Health Organisation, as of May 2020, there have been a total of 149 immunodeficiency vaccine derived poliovirus cases starting from 1961.


The vaccine derived poliovirus cases occur if a population is poorly vaccinated. Of all the vaccine derived poliovirus type 2 is the most prevalent form.  The novel oral polio vaccine type 2, called the nOPV2 developed by the Bio Farma company aims to contain it. According to the company, the vaccine is genetically stable. It is less likely to revert into a form that causes paralysis in low immunity environment.

Emergency Use Listing of WHO

The vaccine has been listed under the Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organisation. The new Emergency Use Listing mechanism was developed by the World Health Organisation in response to the Ebola virus outbreak that occurred between 2014 and 2016. The emergency use listing procedure is a risk based procedure to assess and list unlicensed vaccines. The Vaccine of Bio Farma is the first vaccine to be approved under the list.

Vaccine derived Polio cases in India

In October 2019, there were around 50 cases of vaccine derived poliovirus cases in India. India introduced injectable polio vaccines into its Universal immunization programme to reduce the chances of vaccine derived polio infection. India was officially declared polio free in 2014.

What are vaccine derived Polio Virus?

The vaccine derived polio viruses (VDPV) are the rare strains of poliovirus. They have genetically mutated from the original strain of oral polio vaccine. The different types of VDPVs are

  • Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus
  • Immuno Deficiency related Vaccine derived polio virus
  • Ambiguous vaccine derived polio virus.




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