The ERC highlighted the risk of losing political commitment, funding gaps, and pockets of low immunity as the major challenges standing in the way of certification in 2017. They made strong recommendations for the polio eradication programme to take steps to keep political and traditional leaders engaged across the country. Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, Borno and Yobe states were highlighted as particularly challenging areas of the country, where chronically missed children remain due both to insecurity and operational gaps.
With the removal of the type 2 component of the oral polio vaccine from use through the switch from trivalent to bivalent oral polio vaccine in Nigeria on 18 April 2016, a further risk is the possibility of type two circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreaks. With areas of low routine immunization coverage and pockets of chronically missed children in some areas of the north, important actions were outlined by the ERC as essential to mitigate these risks. High quality campaigns are being held in the lead up to the switch with trivalent OPV, there is increased use of the inactivated polio vaccine in these high risk areas, and highly sensitive surveillance is being maintained across the country.