Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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In June 2018 an outbreak of vaccine-derived poliovirus was declared by the Papua New Guinea Government in Morobe province.  In July 2018, preparations for implementation of large scale immunization activities and intensified surveillance measures began.

The WHO recommends that all travelers to polio-affected areas be fully vaccinated against polio. Travellers to polio-infected areas who completed an Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) or Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) series more than 12 months previously should be given another one-time booster dose of polio vaccine. The WHO also recommends that residents (and visitors for more than 4 weeks) from infected areas should receive an additional dose of OPV or IPV. This should be between four weeks and 12 months prior to international travel.

Infections from vaccine-derived poliovirus occur on occasion in countries still using live poliovirus vaccine. Vaccination against polio before travel will protect against these outbreaks. New Zealand does not use live poliovirus vaccine.  

This advice is in addition to any other travel specific vaccinations that may be required.

Polio has been eradicated from New Zealand and from most of the countries around the world. An updated list of states still infected with a poliovirus can be found here.

Useful links:

-          Polio Global Eradication Initiative

-          World Health Organization. “Vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccines.”

Associated Advisories:

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