Polio: when is vaccination mandatory for travellers?

Latest update: - Authors: Nele Alders, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

The WHO has issued temporary recommendations under the International Health Regulation in order to reduce international spread of poliomyelitis virus.

Prevention

What?

For longterm travellers of all ages travelling from countries with wild polio virus 1 (WPV1), circulating vaccine derived polio virus 1 or 3 (cVDPV1 or cVDPV3) with risk of international spread, proof of vaccination is mandatory upon return after a journey of four weeks or longer. This polio vaccine has to be given between at least four weeks and maximum twelve months before leaving  one of these countries and has to be documented in the international certificate of vaccination and prophylaxis.  For travellers, this means that vaccination is usually given before their journey.

For longterm travellers or going to countries with cVDPV2 with risk of international spread, vaccination is recommended but not mandatory.

In Belgium,  we advice to all other travellers to Asia or Africa from the age of sixteen years, a single booster vaccination for polio.

Where can you find more information? 

The list of countries is adapted a few times a year by WHO. If vaccination is mandatory, it is mentioned in the country information on this website under the topic “vaccinations: polio”.

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