Poliovirus update

Public Health Scotland (PHS) has been working with NHS boards on a precautionary basis to ensure optimal vaccine coverage and protection against polio and advising the public to ensure polio vaccines are up to date. This particularly applies to parents of young children who may have missed an immunisation opportunity.

Following the detection of poliovirus in wastewater in London, the JCVI has agreed that a supplementary inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) booster campaign should be implemented for all children aged 1 to 9 years in London.

There are no immediate plans to run a similar catch up programme in Scotland at this time. Scotland has high vaccination uptake rates for all childhood immunisations and the JCVI has not advised the need for an IPV booster campaign outside of London.

Dr Nick Phin, Clinical Director, Public Health Scotland said:

“Regular wastewater monitoring on sewage samples from two sites in Glasgow has been carried out by the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) and there have been no recent detections of poliovirus. The risk to the public overall is extremely low. Scotland has high vaccination uptake rates that we need to maintain to reduce the risk of infections occurring.

“Parents of children born and raised in Scotland can check their child’s vaccination status in their Red Book or by calling their GP surgery. There is information on NHS inform about how to get your vaccines if you or your child are not up-to-date. We strongly encourage parents and carers to ensure that children receive all recommended vaccinations as soon as they are eligible, including the pre-school booster as we look to start a new school year.”

To find out more about how to access vaccinations visit: www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/immunisation/when-to-immunise/getting-your-vaccinations

Further information about polio is available at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/polio/

To find out more about vaccination uptake rates: Childhood immunisation statistics Scotland - Quarter and year ending 31 March 2022 - Childhood immunisation statistics Scotland - Publications - Public Health Scotland

Last updated: 12 August 2022