Containment Guidance Documents

WHO Global Action Plan and Containment Certification Scheme

The WHO Global Action Plan for Poliovirus Containment, 4th edition, 2022 (GAPIV), formerly GAPIII, came into force on 1 July 2022 and is the chief guidance document for poliovirus containment. GAPIV was endorsed by the Poliovirus Containment Advisory Group in June 2022. The Poliovirus Containment Certification Scheme (CCS) to support implementation of WHO containment guidance was endorsed by SAGE in October 2016.

All countries holding poliovirus stocks are urged to follow guidance in GAPIV to ensure risk associated with continued handling and storage of poliovirus is minimized. Countries that have implemented requirements in GAPIII will need to ensure audits against GAPIV as per CAG guidance. Sensitization sessions on GAPIV implementation and oversight, including addressing the risk-based approaches in GAPIV, are expected to commence in 2023.

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GAP and CCS downloads

  • WHO Global Action Plan for Poliovirus Containment, 4th edition, 2022 (GAPIV) | English |
  • Poliovirus Containment Certification Scheme 1-pager | English |
  • GAPIII Auditor Qualification and Audit Support Plan 2021-2023 | English |

Guidance to minimize risks for facilities collecting, handling or storing materials potentially infectious for polioviruses (PIM Guidance) – 2nd edition

This guidance aims to facilitate the identification of materials potentially infectious for polioviruses within laboratories that handle human stool specimens, respiratory samples or environmental sewage. Depending on the place and time of collection, these materials may contain infectious polioviruses that are eradicated (WPV2 and WPV3), nearly eradicated (WPV1) or originating from oral polio vaccines. Identifying, eliminating the risk through destruction, or mitigating the risk of handling such materials is essential, not only to maintain the safety of laboratory workers and their communities, but also for the success of the global polio eradication effort.

Facilities are encouraged to use Web Annex A to assess the risk of sample collections potentially infectious for poliovirus, and Web Annex B to complete the form available as Web Annex C. Web Annex D helps national focal points complete the progress reporting form describing preparations for poliovirus containment.

PIM documents and materials

  • Web Annex A: Country- and area-specific poliovirus data |English |
  • Web Annex B: SOP for the identification, destruction or preparation for containment of poliovirus infectious or potentially infectious materials |English |
  • Web Annex C: Form 1 – Facility reporting form |English |
  • Web Annex D: Form 2 – Progress reporting form on preparations for poliovirus containment and completion of Phase I of GAPIII |English |

Public Health Management of Facility Related Exposure to Live Polioviruses

WHO has published guidance for managing human exposure to live polioviruses in laboratory facilities. Countries where polioviruses are kept require this guidance.

The document is primarily aimed at workers handling and storing polioviruses in designated poliovirus-essential facilities and outlines public health measures to be taken in the event of a spill or containment breach.

Forms and templates