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CDC Adds Polio Vaccination Recommendation for International Travelers

The Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCDC logo (CDC) have just updated their advice to health care providers to include polio vaccine in recommended preparedness immunizations.

Their news release, dated 2014-6-2, includes the following language:

CDC routinely recommends that anyone planning travel to a polio-affected country be fully vaccinated against polio and that, in addition, adults should receive a one-time booster dose of polio vaccine. Because of the recent PHEIC [public health emergency of international concern, issued by the World Health Organization], anyone staying in any of the polio-affected countries for more than four (4) weeks may be required to have a polio booster shot within the 4 weeks to twelve months prior to departure from that country. This booster should be documented in the yellow International Certificate of Vaccination in order to avoid delays in transit or forced vaccination in country. Either oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) may be used for this booster, however only IPV is currently available in the United States.

The CDC announcement also includes the following statement:

world health organization logoU.S. clinicians should be aware of possible new vaccination requirements for patients planning travel for greater than four weeks to countries with ongoing poliovirus transmission. The May 5 WHO statement names 10 such countries, three designated as “exporting wild poliovirus” (Cameroon, Pakistan and Syria [Syrian Arab Republic]) that should “ensure” recent (4 to 52 weeks before travel) polio boosters among all departing residents and long-term travelers (of more than 4 weeks), and an additional seven countries “infected with wild poliovirus” (Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Somalia and Nigeria) that should “encourage” recent polio vaccination boosters among residents and long-term travelers.

Travelers to these countries should consult with their health care providers about the updated recommendations, and stay informed of further developments about polio safety.

Pakistan, Cameroon, and Syria (countries exporting WPV);  Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Somalia, and Nigeria (In countries that currently have ongoing poliovirus transmission but have not exported WPV to another country in the past 6 months.


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