WHO Polio Vaccine Advice

On May 5th, 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the recent spread of poliovirus (polio) a public health emergency of international concern. They issued temporary polio vaccination recommendations to prevent further spread of the virus worldwide. These recommendations focus on countries exporting wild polio and other polio affected countries: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria. These recommendations apply to residents of these countries prior to international travel and long-term visitors (staying more than 4 weeks) to these countries.


Until polio has been certified as globally eradicated, there is still a risk to travellers. Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel.


For adults 18 years of age and older:

    • If you have completed your primary primary polio vaccine series and have not received a booster dose against polio since your 18th birthday:
      • Get a booster dose before leaving.


    • If you have not completed your polio vaccine series:


      • Get the remaining doses before leaving.


    • If you have not received any vaccines against polio:


    • Get fully vaccinated against polio.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

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