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International Measures to Stop Spread of Wild Polio Virus (update 24)

30 August 2021

The 29th meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus, was convened by the WHO Director-General on 4 August 2021.

The committee agreed that the situation still constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and recommended the extension of the temporary recommendations.

Under IHR (2005), proof of polio vaccination recorded on an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP), given 4 weeks to 12 months before departure, may be required on exit from the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
  • Madagascar
  • Yemen
  • China

The global situation with polio virus is ongoing and TRAVAX users are urged to check the polio vaccination recommendations and documentation requirements on individual country pages. 

Advice for Travellers

Travellers should be encouraged to take strict precautions with food, water and personal hygiene. See the TRAVAX poliomyelitis page for further information.

In order to comply with the latest WHO temporary recommendations and also to avoid travellers receiving live oral polio vaccine unnecessarily when departing polio-infected countries, authorities in the UK have made the following vaccination recommendations:

  • Travellers should consider receiving a booster dose of a polio-containing vaccine if they have not had one in the past 12 months and will be visiting one of the polio-infected or potentially exporting countries for longer than 4 weeks. This advice supersedes the current advice in the Green Book.
  • Travellers should acquire this booster dose within 12 months of the date they plan to leave the polio-infected country.
  • Travellers visiting one of these countries for less than 4 weeks should ensure they are up-to-date with routine polio vaccination, including 10 yearly boosters.
  • Travellers should carry proof of vaccination. For countries listed above, proof of vaccination should be documented on the standard ICVP.

International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis

The ICVP is the yellow booklet normally used for yellow fever vaccination. Failure to produce an ICVP when departing a polio-endemic country may result in the traveller being vaccinated on their departure, often using live oral polio vaccine (OPV). This may cause problems for individuals with weakened immune systems (including pregnancy) who should NOT receive live oral polio vaccine.

In Scotland:

Paper ICVP’s can be obtained from Public Health Scotland (PHS) by contacting TRAVAX administration:

  • Email your FULL NAME and FULL POSTAL ADDRESS to: phs.hpstravax@phs.scot
  • Please see TRAVAX POLIO FAQ's for further clarification.

Rest of UK:

Paper ICVP’s should be obtained from NaTHNaC: