01 Dec 2015

Circulating vaccine derived polio virus (cVDPV): changes to Country Information pages - polio vaccination

Latest on WHO temporary recommendations to prevent the international spread of cVDPV and update to country status Circulating vaccine derived polio virus (cVDPV): changes to Country Information pages - polio vaccination

As of 27 November 2015, five countries are affected by outbreaks of circulating vaccine derived polio virus (cVDPV) with cases detected within the preceding six months: Guinea (cVDPV2), Laos (cVDPV1), Madagascar (cVDPV1), Nigeria (cVDPV1) and Ukraine (cVDPV1) [1].

CVDPV, like Wild Poliovirus (WPV), has the potential to cause paralysis in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals. CVDPVs can arise in populations who are inadequately vaccinated with polio vaccine and where sanitation and personal hygiene is poor [2]. Eradication of cVDPV is an important part of the strategy to end polio transmission globally [3].

The 7th meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee took place on November 10th, 2015.  The Temporary Recommendations to prevent the international spread of polio (in force since May 2014) were extended to include strategies to prevent the international spread of cVDPV [3].

As of 27 November, Public Health England and NaTHNaC have updated recommendations for polio vaccination for travellers to countries where cVDPV has been detected within the preceding six months; Guinea, Laos, Madagascar, Nigeria and Ukraine.

Advice for travellers

CVDPV can be transmitted via the faecal-oral route, either by exposure to water contaminated by infected human faeces, or by person to person contact. You are advised to practise strict food, water and personal hygiene.

Independent of your destination, you should complete a primary vaccination course for polio according to the UK schedule.

If you are travelling to countries reporting recent cVDPV, you should make sure you have received a polio-containing vaccine in the past 10 years and that children have received an age appropriate course of vaccine.

Travellers to settings with extremely poor hygiene (e.g. refugee camps), or likely to be in close proximity with cases (e.g. healthcare workers), and/or if you are expecting to stay in a country reporting cVDPV for more than 6 months and are previously fully vaccinated, you should receive an additional dose of polio vaccine if you have not received a dose in the previous 12 months.

Travellers are encouraged to carry documentary evidence of their polio vaccination status (an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis is NOT required by these countries).

Further details on the global polio situation can be found on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and World Health Organization websites. More information on polio can be found here.

Advice for health professionals

For specific country advice, check our Country Information pages.

For specific outbreak information, check our Outbreak Surveillance section.

The polio status of countries is reviewed by WHO on a regular basis and polio vaccination recommendations are subject to change.

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