The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), following the discovery of type 2 poliovirus in sewage in north and east London, has advised that a targeted inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) booster dose be offered to all children between 1 and 9 years of age in all London boroughs.
This will ensure a very high level of protection from paralysis, and also help decrease the further spread of the polio virus. Nationally, the overall risk of paralytic polio is also considered low because most people are protected from this by vaccination.
Globally, most countries provide an additional dose of polio vaccine as part of childhood vaccination schedule. The NHS in London will contact their parents when it is their children’s turn to come forward for a booster polio dose, and parents should take up the offer as early as possible.
This programme will start with the areas affected, where the poliovirus has been detected, and the vaccination rates are very low, and this will be followed by a rapid launch across all the boroughs.
This booster dose will be in addition to the NHS childhood vaccination for catching-up campaign across London, where the childhood vaccination is lower than the rest of the country. The sampling has also detected the virus in lower concentrations, and with more frequency in areas adjacent to the Beckton catchment areas to the south and east of Beckton.