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WHO temporary polio vaccine recommendations

Recommendations for travellers

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel outside of Canada.
Follow the WHO temporary recommendations:

  1. The WHO temporary recommendations apply to long term travellers (more than 4 weeks) to Afghanistan and Pakistan. These countries have been designated as “states currently exporting wild poliovirus or cVDPV” by the WHO IHR Emergency Committee. The WHO recommendations state that these countries should ensure that long term travellers to these countries:
    • Be fully vaccinated against polio.
    • Receive an additional dose of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) between 4 weeks and 12 months prior to international travel.
    • Be aware that a polio booster may be required to exit a designated country or enter into another, even if you already received an adult booster dose over a year ago.
    • Carry the appropriate documentation. It is recommended that you carry a written vaccination record in the event that evidence of vaccination is requested for country entry or exit requirements. Your proof of vaccination should be documented in the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis which you can get from a Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre.
  2. The WHO temporary recommendations also apply to long term travellers (more than 4 weeks) to countries “infected with wild poliovirus or cVDPV but not currently exporting” (Burma (Myanmar), Guinea, Laos, Madagascar and Nigeria).  The WHO recommendations state that these countries should encourage that long term travellers to these countries:
    • Be fully vaccinated against polio.
    • Receive an additional dose of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) between 4 weeks and 12 months prior to international travel.
    • Should carry appropriate documentation of their vaccination status, such as a card or booklet.
  3. Consult the Travel Health Notice on Polio: Global Update for further recommendations for travellers.

For additional information, WHO has developed frequently asked questions for travellers about the temporary recommendations.