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The World Is About To Switch To A New Polio Vaccine

An Afghan health worker administers the polio vaccine to a child during a vaccination campaign on the outskirts of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province on June 24, 2014. A new three-day nationwide immunisation campaign against polio supported by Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health had begun, officials said.  (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)
An Afghan health worker administers the polio vaccine to a child during a vaccination campaign on the outskirts of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province on June 24, 2014. A new three-day nationwide immunisation campaign against polio supported by Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health had begun, officials said. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)

Over the next two weeks, public health officials are attempting something radical: getting the whole world to switch from one version of the oral polio vaccine to another. The Polio Eradication Initiative says this is “the largest withdrawal of one vaccine, and associated roll out of another vaccine in history.”

Here & Now’s Robin Young talks with Helen Branswell, infectious disease and public health reporter for STAT, the national health and medicine publication, about the hopes – and the risks – associated with this switch to the new vaccine.

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