Scientists have used advanced genetic engineering to create better polio vaccines. These vaccines have been modified to prevent harmful virus changes that could lead to outbreaks and paralysis. By improving the weakened live polio viruses in oral vaccines, they have made them safer and more stable. This important achievement was possible thanks to the collaboration between research teams from the United States and the United Kingdom. They have successfully developed upgraded vaccines for all three types of polio, which is a significant milestone in the worldwide battle against this serious disease. The main challenge is distributing vaccines widely to protect children from polio, which causes paralysis. Vaccines have reduced polio cases by over 99% since the late 1980s, aiding mobility. Although the original poliovirus still exists in certain areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, oral vaccines are crucial in the global effort to eliminate polio.

However, there is concern about the genetic stability of these vaccines. Even a small change in the virus can make the vaccine less effective and allow it to invade the nervous system, causing paralysis. Mutated viruses from vaccinated individuals can spread through waste and infect unvaccinated people, leading to new outbreaks. Surprisingly, there are now more cases of “vaccine-derived polio” than the original poliovirus. Instances of polio connected to the oral vaccine have been found in London’s sewage system, which is a cause for worry.