You may have heard on local news about the Polio infection being found in water in London.
Due to Polio being found in the water the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that children aged 1 to 9 years old in London be offered a dose of polio vaccine, following the discovery of type 2 poliovirus in sewage in north and east London.
The number of children vaccinated in London is lower than it should be, so boosting immunity in children should help protect them and reduce the risk of the virus continuing to spread.
Polio is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system – it can cause permanent paralysis of muscles. Before the polio vaccine was introduced, there were as many as 8,000 cases of polio in the UK in epidemic years.
Because of the success of the polio vaccination programme, there have been no cases of natural polio infection in the UK for over 30 years (the last case was in 1984) and polio was eradicated from the whole of Europe in 2003.
For some children this may be an extra dose on top of their routine vaccinations. In other children it
may bring them up to date with their routine vaccinations. This will ensure a high level of protection
from any risk of paralysis, though the risks to the general population are still assessed as low due to
high vaccine coverage rates overall.
Polio Booster Vaccination Programme in Lewisham
Families with eligible children will receive a letter and text message to let them know about the programme. The aim is to ensure that all Lewisham 1-9 year olds have been contacted about a dose of polio vaccine by the end of September 2022.
- Find out more about the polio booster campaign at GOV.UK
- Vaccination sites for children aged 5-9 can be found here.
- FAQs and clinic information are available here at Polio vaccination – NHS South East London (selondonics.org)
- Download your UK Health Security Agency parents guide here
- Click here for further details from the government website
- Click here for information from Lewisham Council
- Click here for more information from the NHS