Polio Plus

Did you know the poliovirus cannot infect animals? Only humans, which is we can eradicate polio using existing vaccines. But only if they find their way into the arms and mouths of children. And that takes money…which is why we promote awareness and advocate for donations to help end this crippling disease, especially on October 24 which is World Polio Day in honor of Dr. Jonas Salk’s birthday.

Click HERE for ideas and resources to plan your club or district World Polio Day event. And if your club or district has already planned a special event for World Polio Day, click HERE to register your event.

Together, let’s make history by helping to eradicate only the second disease from the face of the earth. What was the first? Smallpox in 1980, thanks to the success of vaccination.

Polio is just a plane ride away. Any form of poliovirus anywhere is a threat to children everywhere.

Recently, vaccine derived polio virus type 2 was detected in the environmental samples in London. And in the state of New York, one case of paralytic polio was identified and more virus was found in environmental samples in the greater New York metropolitan area. Click HERE to learn more about these recent developments. 

 Here is your chance to look cool AND raise funds for our fight against polio! Make a $1,000 donation to PolioPlus and you can order these amazing Purple Sneakers to show your support for eradicating Polio. Your dollars will be matched $2-to-$1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

And be sure to wear your purple kicks to the Rotary Institute in Salt Lake City in November! Our journey to eradicate polio is not over; we must be relentless in our fight against this deadly virus. 

For informational fliers on how to donate to receive your sneakers, click here.

By John Germ
Past Rotary International President
The recent detection of the vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 case in New York, USA, and isolates in several environmental samples collected in London are stark reminders that as long as polio exists anywhere, it is a threat everywhere.
It also highlights the importance of vaccination as the only form of protection against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases and the work that needs to be done in our communities to encourage the uptake of vaccines. Also, as the world gets closer to zero wild poliovirus cases, it is increasingly important to track all forms of the virus wherever they may appear, including in polio-free regions.
The U.S. is still considered low risk for paralytic outbreaks of polio due to the high level of vaccine coverage across the population. If a child has received the entire course of vaccines, the risk of becoming paralyzed by polio is negligible. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 92.6% of children aged 24 months are fully vaccinated against polio, slightly below the 95% World Health Organization target.
The best things countries can do to protect themselves from polio until the disease is eradicated from the world are to: maintain high vaccination coverage and robust disease surveillance and be ready to respond in the event of an outbreak to minimize the risk and consequences of polio re-introduction or re-emergence anywhere.
The world currently has a unique opportunity to stop virus transmission for good. Still, all parties, including donors and country governments, must re-commit to polio eradication by fully supporting the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) 2022-2026 strategy. This focuses on adopting an emergency posture while generating greater accountability and ownership from country governments to eradicate wild polio and end variant poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks.
Rotary, a global service organization with over 1.4 million members, has been at the center of the worldwide effort to eradicate polio for over three decades. Every year, through our funding partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary commits $150 million to the global effort to eradicate polio. We have contributed more than $2.6 billion and countless volunteer hours to end polio forever. Together with our partners, we engage communities everywhere to encourage high vaccination rates, immunizing over 400 million children annually. More than 20 million people are walking today who otherwise would have been paralyzed because of our efforts and those of our partners in the GPEI.
The time for urgent action is now. A new vaccine has been deployed – novel oral polio vaccine 2 (nOPV2) – which is more genetically stable to stop outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus effectively. With sustained political and financial commitments, the GPEI is confident that we can achieve a world in which no child is paralyzed by polio again.
Interactive Zoom Workshop - Open to All
August 18, 2022 5:00 - 6:00 pm Pacific Time
World Polio Day is October 24, 2022, and the time to start planning your club and district events is now!  Join your Zone 26/27 End Polio Now and Public Image Coordinators for an interactive discussion and idea sharing to help make your event impactful and successful. 
Find more World Polio Day Event helpful tools in the Rotary Brand Center.
Each Rotary year since 2007, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed funds for the fight against polio, usually in the form of a match to Rotary donations. This past year, the Gates Foundation offered to match our donations $2 to $1, up to $50 million. 
Thanks to you, The Rotary Foundation reached our all-important goal of $50 million in Rotary donations, allowing us to take full advantage of the Gates match for a total of $150 million for the fight against Polio!
Congratulations to each and every one of you for digging deep to make this happen, especially when you consider that Rotary members also donated $3 million in DDF and $12 million in cash to Ukraine Disaster Relief during this past year. The final Polio donation totals should be available this month. With your continued help, we will eradicate this terrible disease.  
Need help or have questions: Please contact:
Bob Rogers at epnczone27@zone2627.org 
The Rotary Club of Peoria North received the District 5495 End Polio Now Champions Award for 2021-22 at the 2022 district conference.
The district conference was held May 13-14 at the Prescott Resort & Conference Center in Prescott, Arizona.
The award recognizes the club with the highest per capita in contributions over the past year to Rotary's End Polio Now campaign.
The award was presented to the club by Past District Governor Jim Erickson, chair of the district's End Polio Now Committee, and Nicolle Karantinos, president of the Rotary Club of Mesa. The Rotary Club of Mesa was the recipient in 2020-21.
Accepting the award on behalf of the club were District Governor Bret McKeand, Ken Parsons, Assistant Governors Gary Connelly and Lou Rotundo.
John Germ, chair of The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees, visited District 5495 April 1-2 as part of his "Two Drops Tour" to encourage Rotarians to continue their focus on supporting Rotary's End Polio Now campaign.
The district hosted two small receptions for John and Judy Germ at the Doubletree Resort Tempe. During both receptions, John provided a brief update on current contributions made to the foundation, as well as the status of Rotary's 40-plus year efforts to eradicate polio.
"We're so very close, with only two nations left where the wild polio virus still exists," said Mr. Germ. "But the remaining challenges are incredible, and we need everyone's support now more than ever."
John predicted the virus would be eliminated by 2023 and declared completely eradicated by 2026.
He also thanked District 5495 for its strong support this year for both The Annual Fund and the End Polio Now campaign.
John Germ is the retired board chair and CEO of Campbell & Associates, Inc. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
He joined Rotary in 1976 and served as RI President in 2016-17. In 2013 the White House recognized him as a "Champion of Change."
A video of DG Bret McKeand interviewing Mr. Germ on the current status of Rotary's initiative to end polio and other issues can be found here.