A new vaccine against the polio virus has been found to be so effective, it could finally put an end to scourge on earth.
The plan to eradicate polio was launched in 1988 and since then it has produced amazing results. Under the plan, mass vaccination with a ''trivalent'' form of the vaccine for all three viral subtypes has seen the number of countries with endemic polio reduce from 125 in 1988 to four in 2010.
The number of poliomyelitis cases across the world dramatically fell from 350,000 in 1988 to 1,606 in 2009, but the virus is still holding out in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and, to some extent, Nigeria.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and other vaccine organisations are in the process of launching a final big push to eliminate the disease forever.
The new 'bivalent'' vaccine is orally taken and is effective against two of the three strains of polio virus that still pose a problem- subtypes 1 and 3.
According to a study, the bivalent vaccine is between 30 and 40 per cent more effective at protecting people against infection, as against the older trivalent vaccine, according to Roland Sutter of the WHO in Geneva.