To eradicate polio, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has combined the latest scientific knowledge about poliovirus to make the most of lessons learned and plan for a polio-free world.
While most of the world rarely confirms cases of polio, Afghanistan and Pakistan are two countries that continue to fight this vaccine-preventable disease.
To prevent the cross-border spread of poliovirus, in May 2022, Pakistan and Afghanistan synchronized nationwide polio immunization campaigns.
As of June 5, 2022, Pakistan has been successfully controlling polio for the past few years, but is facing endemic transmission of wild poliovirus (WPV1) and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2.
Unfortunately, a sixth case of WPV1 was recently confirmed by the National Institutes of Health Pakistan Polio Laboratory. Only one person has been confirmed in 2021.
A 20-month-old boy was paralyzed due to wild polio. On May 15, the child became paralyzed and currently suffers from a disability in all four limbs.
“Following the first two cases in April, the polio vaccination program took immediate steps to cordon off the area and prevent further spread of the virus, especially in the historic reservoirs of Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta,” Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadeer Patel said. June 3, 2022
The Minister added that it is extremely important for parents to vaccinate their children every time, since each dose of the polio vaccine strengthens the immune system.
Poliovirus is not a new disease as it has been around since ancient times. It lives in the throat and intestines of an infected person and spreads from person to person.
Pakistan is classified by the International Health Regulations as a state with a potential risk of international spread of poliovirus. Therefore, it is subject to temporary recommendations from February 2022.
In March 2022, WHO stated: “While encouraged by the apparent progress in Pakistan, the Committee unanimously agreed that the risk of international spread of poliovirus remains a public health emergency of international concern and recommended that the Temporary Recommendations be extended for another three months. ‘
The US CDC and WHO recommend that all travelers to polio-affected areas be fully vaccinated against polio. There are various licensed polio vaccines that may contain one, a combination of two, or all three different serotypes in a single polio vaccine.
The CDC states: “Adult travelers who have previously completed a full series of polio vaccines and are visiting destinations in Afghanistan and Pakistan should receive one lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine. In addition, even those who have had polio may need a booster dose of the polio vaccine.”
In addition, residents of infected areas and visitors (1 month) should receive an additional dose within 1–12 months after travel.
For more information on travel polio vaccination recommendations,…