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Lake Hawea, New Zealand

China: updated recommendations for polio vaccination

Polio is caused by one of three types of polio virus and is transmitted by contaminated food and water. Previous infection with one type of polio virus does not protect against other types of the virus.

Those at increased risk include travellers visiting friends and relatives, those in direct contact with an infected person, long-stay travellers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.

Polio in China:
This country is affected by circulating vaccine derived poliovirus.

A case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) is confirmed.

As of July 10, 2019, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) reported a confirmed circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2); the virus was isolated from stool samples of a case of acute flaccid paralysis in Liangshan Yi Autonomous prefecture, Sichuan province. It is genetically linked to a VDPV2 isolated from an environmental sample from Xinjiang province, collected on April 18, 2018 [1].

China has a vaccination programme with both inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) with coverage of over 95% nationwide [1]. The last reported case of wild polio virus in China was in 1994 [2].

All travellers should take care with personal, food and water hygiene.

Polio vaccination
All travellers should have completed a polio vaccination course according to the UK schedule (vaccines used in the UK schedule contain inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and provide protection against types 1,2 and 3 polioviruses; bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) used in schedules of some other countries, does not protect the individual against type 2 poliovirus).

A booster dose of an IPV-containing vaccine is recommended for those who have not received a dose within the previous 10 years.

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