Bivalent and Trivalent Polio Vaccine1

Difference Between Bivalent and Trivalent Polio Vaccine

Brief overview of Bivalent and Trivalent Polio Vaccine

Poliomyelitis (also referred to as polio) is an extremely contagious virus that attacks nerve function and can result in paralysis being transmitted via food and drinking water Contamination or direct contact between affected individuals potentially leading to impairment or even death in severe cases.

Vaccination is one of the most Effective Strategies available for Combating the spread of polio. Polio vaccines stimulate our bodies’ immune systems to produce antibodies against their virus, providing protection from further infection. Widespread use has resulted in a dramatic drop off in cases worldwide and our goal of completely eradicating it from our world’s population; continued vaccination is key to reaching that objective as well as stopping its recurrence.

Explanation of the difference between bivalent and trivalent polio vaccine

Bivalent and Trivalent Polio Vaccine differ with regard to how many strains of poliovirus they protect against.

Bivalent polio vaccine provides protection from two varieties of Poliovirus: types 1 and 3, providing additional security from their spread around the world. Type 2 strains were officially eradicated as of 2015 and as such do not feature within this bivalent vaccine.

Trivalent polio vaccination provides protection from all three strains of the virus: types 1, 2, and 3. Although previously available worldwide, due to the eradication of type 2, its availability has now been limited.

Bivalent vaccine is generally less costly and simpler to administer since their dose requirements are reduced due to fewer strains being included; however, trivalent vaccination is still used where there exists the threat of polio type 2.

Know that both Bivalent and Trivalent Polio Vaccine can effectively prevent polio; which one you opt for depends on factors like local outbreak, availability and price of available vaccine.

What exactly is Bivalent Vaccine?

Bivalent Vaccine
Figure 01: Bivalent Vaccine

Bivalent Polio vaccine, as its name suggests, only contains two strains of the poliovirus; serotype 2 being absent altogether and attenuated virus from serotypes 1 and 3 present instead. Additionally, this vaccination also features attenuated virus strains from serotypes 1-3 for added protection against future outbreaks of this form of paralysis virus disease.

Thus, bivalent polio vaccine provides immunity against serotypes 1, 3 and 4. However, its effect against serotype 2 remains indefinitely.

What exactly is Trivalent Polio Vaccine?

Trivalent Polio Vaccine (TPV) is an oral vaccine composed of live and attenuated strains from three serotypes of Poliovirus; sometimes called Sabin, or trivalent vaccine for polio.

Trivalent Polio Vaccine
Figure 02: Trivalent Polio Vaccine

Trivalent polio vaccines offer long term immunity against all three poliovirus serotypes and help to protect against developing Poliomyelitis. Trivalent vaccines are the most frequently used polio vaccine for immunization; it’s inexpensive yet highly effective against poliovirus infection.

Difference Between Bivalent and Trivalent Polio Vaccine

Bivalent and Trivalent Polio Vaccine share similarities, such as being administered orally and containing weak live viruses to stimulate immunity against virus attacks; both stimulate production of antibodies that protect the body against future attacks. But each vaccine also features unique characteristics.

1. Strains of the poliovirus: Differing Strains of Poliovirus The bivalent vaccine provides protection from two strains, while trivalent provides defense against all three varieties; its usage was once widespread but is no longer in practice as strain 2 of Polio has now been eradicated worldwide.

2. Number of doses: Dosage requirements of bivalent vaccination differ significantly from trivalent vaccination: with two doses needed in contrast to three for trivalent.

3. Cost-Effectiveness: Bivalent vaccines tend to be cheaper and simpler to administer compared to trivalent ones which contain three strains and require higher dosage.

4. Recommendation: At present, bivalent vaccine is recommended by the World Health Organization for use in areas in which type 2 polio has been eliminated or where its transmission continues. It should continue being eliminated over time.

Bivalent and Trivalent Polio Vaccine can both provide effective protection from the threat of polio; the choice between them often depends on local conditions relating to an outbreak, accessibility and cost; bivalent vaccines are currently the recommended vaccine in all regions; trivalent may still present risks in areas where type 2 polio virus remains.

Current Recommendations and Use of Bivalent and Trivalent Polio Vaccine

Figure-No-03: Trivalent Polio Vaccine

World Health Organization’s latest recommendation for use of bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) to address polio in all countries where type 2 has been eradicated is to make this choice an official part of vaccination schedules and routine vaccine use, given evidence showing it to be less expensive, require fewer doses, and protect against existing strains of the virus.

As of April 2016, trivalent oral poliovirus vaccination (tOPV) is no longer Recommended as part of routine Vaccination schedules due to its risk of vaccine derived poliovirus infections (VDPVs). As part of its gradual removal, at least one dose of inactivated the polio vaccination (IPV) must be included into routine schedules in each country where possible.

As well as routine vaccination, bivalent and trivalent vaccines for polio are utilized when outbreaks arise in areas with limited vaccination coverage and under specific circumstances; which vaccine is applied will depend upon both its availability as well as how acutely an outbreak may have reached that location.

Recent recommendations indicate the use of bivalent polio vaccine as the preferred routine vaccine, with trivalent vaccination being limited and gradually phased out over time. Both types may still be necessary in response to outbreaks or areas with limited vaccination coverage depending on circumstances and available vaccine.


Oral polio vaccines come in three flavors – trivalent, bivalent or monovalent. Bivalent vaccines consist of attenuated serotypes of poliovirus 1, and 3, while trivalent has three attenuated serotypes poliovirus 1. and 3, which distinguish it from bivalent vaccination.

Neither type offers long-term immunity against serotype 2, yet all three oral vaccinations provide long-term immunity against them all simultaneously.