Following the discovery of poliovirus in sewage in north and east London, children aged one to nine will be given a dose of the polio vaccine to lower their chance of contracting the disease.
Sewage samples from Barnet, Brent, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, and Waltham Forest contained vaccine-derived poliovirus.
Lower amounts of the virus have also been discovered to the east and south of Beckton, close to the Beckton catchment region and directly below the Thames.
It is unclear, though, if the virus has established itself in these locations or if the detections are the result of locals from the infected area traveling to these nearby locations.
When it comes time for parents to offer their children the inactivated polio vaccination, NHS London will get in touch with them. If they have received all of the prescribed doses, they will be given the option of a catch-up dose or an additional booster. It will start in areas where the virus has been detected and where vaccination rates are low, followed by a rapid rollout across the rest of the London boroughs. Parents of children who have not received all of their recommended vaccines can schedule a consultation with their GP office right away.
With 90% of the necessary vaccinations administered, London already has a lower vaccination rate than the rest of the nation (95% nationally).
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization advised the launch of the campaign in reaction to the detection of type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus in the sewage of eight London boroughs. Which is suspected to have originated from a person who had a live virus vaccine abroad, in the UK, the live vaccination is not utilized.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) noted in a statement announcing the vaccine campaign that childhood immunization rates in London are lower than those in the rest of the UK, particularly in the boroughs impacted, which will be prioritized in the new vaccination campaign.
There have been no reported instances of polio connected to the circulating virus, and those who have had the polio vaccine face little risk from it. The inactivated polio vaccination, which is being provided by the NHS, prevents the spread of the poliovirus.
After signs of the virus were discovered at the Beckton Sewage Treatment Works during normal surveillance, the UK Health Security Agency declared a national incident in June.
In UK sewage samples, one to three “vaccine-like” polioviruses are typically found each year, although these discoveries have always been isolated cases.
But after the current finding, the virus has been found in several sewage surveillances.
The genetic variation across samples and the degree of poliovirus discovered in the samples suggest that the virus may currently be spreading among residents of the eight afflicted municipalities.
Paralysis may result from the deadly virus known as polio. In the UK, polio was last reported in 1984.
“We know the areas in London where the poliovirus is being transmitted have some of the lowest vaccination rates. This is why the virus is spreading in these communities,” Vanessa Saliba, consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA, said.
She added that the additional vaccine dose for children “will ensure a high level of protection from paralysis. This may also help stop the virus spreading further.”
Read it here: Gov.uk