Oct 14, 2019

After 19 years, the poliovirus that was supposedly extinct, has re-emerged in the country. An outbreak was announced which made other countries now alarmed by the possible infection that may be transferred especially to travelers from abroad. 

[READ: It’s official: polio has re-emerged in the Philippines]

Through the advisory released by the Department of Health (DOH), Filipinos going abroad are recommended to check whether the countries they will be visiting require a polio vaccination certificate. 

According to the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization, because the spread of polio is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), it is necessary to take actions that will avoid the virus’ spread. 

Because of the circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) in some countries, supplementary immunization activities are being implemented to stop the transmission of the virus to other countries. 

DOH recommends it to countries like Ukraine, Madagascar, Lao People’s Republic, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Papua New Guinea. 

As stated, travelers of all ages going to countries with an ongoing poliovirus outbreak should receive a dose of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) between four weeks to 12 months prior to their travel.

But if the traveler is on an urgent trip and has not received the vaccines within the required duration, they should at least receive it by their time of departure. 

A certificate of vaccination must be secured to serve as proof prior to their departure. 

There will be a synchronized polio vaccination to be implemented by the DOH on Oct. 14 to address the spread of the virus.


Header photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

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TAGS: abroad DOH international travel polio polio outbreak polio vaccine poliovirus vaccine vaccine