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Have your children had their polio vaccinations?

With an urgent polio vaccine booster programme being rolled out for London children – the key message for Liverpool families is to check if your child is up to date with their routine vaccinations.

You can check their Red Book and contact your GP practice to catch up if needed – as soon as possible.

The poliovirus has been detected in London sewage and is spreading in some communities where vaccination rates are very low. No cases of polio have been reported and, for the majority of the population, who are fully vaccinated, the risk is low. Residents who are not fully vaccinated are at greater risk.

Polio is a serious infection that can cause paralysis. The last case of polio in the UK was in 1984. Historically, up to 8,000 people per year would develop paralysis in the UK before polio vaccination was introduced.

It is vital families ensure their children are fully vaccinated for their age. Protection from polio is included in the 6-in-1 vaccine which is given to babies at 8, 12 and 16 weeks old. A booster of the polio vaccine is also given before children start school, and as part of their teenage booster when they are 14.

Most people in Liverpool are protected against polio. Some children have missed out on their routine vaccinations because of the Covid pandemic. Pre-Covid, the uptake of the routine 6-in-1 vaccine for babies in Liverpool was 95%. However the latest figures (2020/2021) show that this figure is now at 88% – much lower than the national average of 92%.  Remember, it’s never too late to catch up.

If children or adults need to catch-up with any vaccinations, including polio, please contact your GP practice to book an appointment – it’s never too late to get protected from potentially serious illnesses.

Over the summer holidays, there are also some special catch-up clinics for Liverpool secondary school-aged children from year 8 upwards. Contact the school age immunisation team to make an appointment or check your child’s immunisation status. Visit www.merseycare.nhs.uk/imms

For more information about polio, visit Polio – NHS (www.nhs.uk)


Content provided by One Liverpool, a partnership of local health and care organisations working together to support a healthier, happier and fairer Liverpool for all.

Published on Mon, 15 Aug 2022 14:10:34 GMT
Modified on Mon, 15 Aug 2022 14:35:01 GMT