Polio: Everything You Need to Know

Questions about polio are on the rise. We’re here to answer some of your concerns, reassure you about ways to keep safe, and provide you with the polio vaccine should you need it. 

What is Polio?

It’s a vaccine-preventable viral infection – spread when food or water is contaminated by infected human faeces. It can also be passed on through direct contact with someone who is infected. 

There are two types of polio virus:

  • wild polio virus: eliminated globally and only found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 
  •  vaccine derived polio virus: weakened version of the virus that has adapted and changed over time. 

Reassuringly, polio is extremely rare in the UK thanks to vaccination efforts. Children are given five doses of polio vaccine during childhood to ensure maximum protection. 

Should I Be Concerned That Polio Has Been Found in The UK?

Experts recently discovered traces of polio in London sewerage water. But, it’s believed that this outbreak was minimal and contained to a small area. The UK Health Security Agency has stated that there’s no need for public concern and the risk to the public is low. This is because the vast majority of the UK public have been vaccinated against polio. 

However, anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated in childhood the recommended number of times, should consider getting a polio vaccine. This will protect them from becoming infected – despite the chances being incredibly low.   

Do I Need A Vaccine If I Am Travelling Abroad?

If you’re fully vaccinated against polio but travelling to a country where the risk of catching the virus is higher or is experiencing an outbreak, you might need a top-up booster. If your last vaccination was more than 10 years ago, you could benefit from a top-up dose too. 

How Do I Go About Getting a Vaccine? 

If you haven’t received your full quota of vaccines or are just not sure about being fully vaccinated, we can help. Book an appointment with our specially trained nurses and they’ll discuss your concerns – and vaccinate you if needed. 

What Polio Vaccine Do You offer? 

The Revaxis vaccination protects against tetanus, diphtheria and polio. It’s suitable for all – and can be given to pregnant women. 

Come and See us

Our specialist nurses will carry out a risk assessment that’ll identify whether you need a polio vaccine.