Urgent Polio Boosters - Statement

11.08.2022 Category: General Health Author: Anna Chapman

Urgent polio boosters advised for London children

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has announced that all children aged 1-9 years regardless of previous immunisation status are recommended a polio vaccine booster from all London boroughs.

The virus, which can cause paralysis, has been found 116 times in London’s waste water between February and July this year. 

In the UK, the overall risk of paralytic polio is considered low because most people are protected from this by vaccination. However, due to the recent discovery of type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus in sewage in multiple locations in London, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)  have advised that booster vaccinations in all children aged 1-9 years is an appropriate course of action.

The UKHSA says most of the samples detected are the safe vaccine form of polio, but “a few” have mutated enough to be considered dangerous.

Parents should seek the polio vaccine booster as soon as possible – even if their child is up-to-date with their childhood vaccinations. 

The aim is two-fold; to ensure a high level of protection from polio paralysis and help reduce further spread of the polio virus across London and beyond.

Booster Polio Vaccinations at Fleet Street Clinic

We offer two vaccinations in-clinic that offer protection from Polio:

Revaxis Vaccine: Suitable for children from 6 years and above
Protects against:  Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio
Cost: £45 + £20 appointment fee
Call to book

Repevax Vaccine: Suitable for children from 3 years and above
Protects against: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio & Whooping Cough
Cost: £78 + £20 appointment fee
Call to book

Both of these vaccinations are inactivated, and given by injection. They are both licensed as booster doses, and are not intended for primary immunisation.

More information on the Polio vaccines available at Fleet Street Clinic, click here.


Primary Polio Vaccination
Unfortunately, we do not offer the infant/ baby vaccination for Polio – in the UK this would be the Infanrix-Hexa, the 6-in-1 vaccine. We have no suitable vaccination for children under the age of 3, or for those requiring their primary immunisation against Polio. 

Please contact your NHS doctor or an alternative provider to see if they can help you further.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

“It is vital parents ensure their children are fully vaccinated for their age. Following JCVI advice all children aged 1 to 9 years in London need to have a dose of polio vaccine now – whether it’s an extra booster dose or just to catch up with their routine vaccinations. It will ensure a high level of protection from paralysis. This may also help stop the virus spreading further.”

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More information on Polio and the emerging London findings:

What is Polio?
Polio is a serious viral infection that is transmitted through the stool’s of an infected person through contaminated water, food or surfaces. It can cause unpleasant flu-like symptoms and in severe cases, cause paralysis.

What are the symptoms of Polio?
The majority of people with the infection have no symptoms but some feel as if they have the flu, with:

  • high temperature
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • abdominal pain
  • sickness

In severe cases of polio, the virus can attack the nerves in the spine and brain which can cause paralysis. In some cases, it can cause persistent or lifelong difficulties and even be life-threatening.

Where has Polio been found?
According to the UKHSA statement, in addition to the findings earlier this year of type 2 poliovirus (PV2) collected from the Beckton sewage treatment works, further upstream sampling undertaken by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now identified at least one positive sample of the poliovirus, currently present in parts of the following boroughs:

  • Barnet
  • Brent
  • Camden
  • Enfield
  • Hackney
  • Haringey
  • Islington
  • Waltham Forest

The sampling has also detected the virus in lower concentrations and frequency in areas adjacent to the Beckton catchment area to the South (immediately below the Thames) and to the east of Beckton. However, it is not clear whether the virus has established itself in these areas or if the detections are due to people from the affected area visiting these neighbouring areas.

How many cases of Polio have been identified?
To date, again based on the UKHSA statement, ‘a total of 116 PV2 isolates have been identified in 19 sewage samples collected in London between 8 February and 5 July this year’.

A further 15 sites in London will start sewage sampling in mid-August, and 10 to 15 sites will be stood up nationally to determine if poliovirus is spreading outside of London.

 

To book your child’s Polio Booster Vaccination, call 020 7353 5678 today.

Teenagers Urged to Have Measles Vaccination

19.08.2018 Category: News Author: Dr Richard Dawood
Public Health England (PHE) are urging teenagers and young people to ensure they are up to date with measles vaccines. A notable amount of cases have been linked to music festivals and other large public gatherings from June. Measles cases have seen an increase over the year to up to 234 between the start to the middle of the year. It is important young people either confirm they’ve been vaccinated or take steps to make sure they get vaccinated.

Measles Vaccination

Immunity against measles requires 2 doses of a measles containing vaccination. In the UK, this is part of the routine childhood schedule and they are usually given before a child starts school. Children and young people with incomplete or uncertain vaccinations should ensure they have received the full course of at least 2 vaccinations. Alternatively, a blood test can be performed to confirm immunity. Fleet Street Clinic provides both vaccinations for measles, administered by experienced doctors and nurses in a clean environment. We also offer tests to confirm immunity. We have been providing vaccination services for over two decades.
Find out more about the MMR vaccine here.