Sewage sampling has identified at least one positive sample of the poliovirus currently present in the sewage of a number of London boroughs, including Brent. This suggests that there is community transmission of the virus within London.
Most people have been vaccinated against polio, so the risk to the public is low. However, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that, to be safe, an inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) booster dose should be offered to all children aged one to nine in London.
This will help ensure that there is a high level of protection against polio and it will reduce the risk of it spreading through the community.
Health workers from NHS London will contact parents when it’s their child’s turn to come forward for a booster or catch-up polio dose. That will be either an extra dose, booster dose or just to bring them up-to-date with their routine vaccinations.
Families should also check their children’s Personal Child Health Record (or “Red Book”). If they are not up-to-date with their vaccinations, they should contact their GP to catch their children up as soon as possible.