A community-based vaccination campaign trial, as part of the global effort to eradicate polio, was conducted by MRC Unit The Gambia in partnership with The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the WHO. The trial, which took place from September 2016 to March 2017, vaccinated 2,720 infants and children intradermally (ID) in 3 days across Bwiam, Sibanor, Bintang, Somita, Gunjur and Sanyang.
The trial compared 3 different methods of ID fractional Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV) administration in children to assess the feasibility of using a one-fifth dose of IPV intradermal in a campaign setting for possible future outbreak response. A normal BCG needle and syringe was compared to an intradermal adapter device and a needle free jet injector. The time it took to administer each vaccine, the number of vaccinations deliverable per hour, the number of fractional doses of IPV obtained from each vial, the size of the fluid bleb in the skin, the fluid loss onto the skin and the level of distress caused by each injection were just some of the endpoints measured. Immune response data will also be generated by the CDC laboratories in the US for later analysis by MRCG.
The trial required a significant amount of coordination. Close to 100 people were involved in this trial to ensure the vaccination of 2,720 children, over 3 days across all 6 sites. This involved mainly MRCG workers, public health officers from the Ministry of Health, and community volunteers. Coordinating field activities during the trial was very challenging as it occurred during the political impasse in The Gambia. The provisional data which was generated during the recent ‘Fractional Dose IPV Campaign-Based Trial’, was presented by Clinical Trial Coordinator and co-PI Dr Bashorun Adedapo during the 19th WHO Polio Research Committee meeting in Geneva on the 11th April 2017.