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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Circulating Vaccine Derived Poliovirus in Ukraine

02 Sep 2015

WHO has been notified of two confirmed cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) in Ukraine. Both cases have been identified in Zakarpatskaya oblast (administrative division), in the south-west of the country, bordering Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. Onset of paralysis was 30 June and 7 July 2015; at that time the children were aged 4 years and 10 months of age.

The emergence of a cVDPV has been a particular risk for Ukraine due to poor uptake of childhood vaccinations, resulting in inadequate protection in the community. In 2014, just 50% of children were fully immunized against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases in Ukraine.

Discussions are currently ongoing with national health authorities to plan and implement an urgent outbreak response.

Advice for Travellers

The vaccination recommendations for Ukraine have been amended, following the emergence of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus in the country.

It should be confirmed that children have received their recommended doses of polio vaccine according to the UK childhood schedule. It is recommended that travellers have a poliomyelitis booster (or course) if not already protected. Travellers should also take precautions with food, water and personal hygiene.