• Imee Schlimper

ADVISORY from the DOH: Polio Vaccination for Travelers coming to the Philippines

Last September 19, 2019, the Department of Health (DOH) declared a Polio Epidemic. The World Health Organization stated that the risk of international spread of polio is low, however, the risk of transmission and re-circulation within the Philippines is high due to low population immunity.


The Philippine Department of Health, as the lead agency mandated to ensure health of all its citizens and visitors, recommends the following measures to provide protection and assurance to all concerned.



FOR ALL TRAVELERS ENTERING THE PHILIPPINES:

Foreign nationals and returning Filipinos of all ages who are intending to stay in the Philippines for four weeks and more are encouraged to receive a single dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) not later than four weeks before their scheduled travel to the Philippines. Given that the traveler has not received polio vaccination in the last 12 months.

Travelers undertaking urgent travel within four weeks, are recommended to receive a single dose of IPV at least by the time of departures as this will still provide benefits. Particularly for frequent travelers.


Photo Courtesy: Joe Raedle https://www.cnn.ph/news/2019/10/10/Health-department-polio-travel-advisory

FOR ALL TRAVELERS LEAVING THE PHILIPPINES:

They are encouraged to check the immunization requirements of the country they are going to, and if required, receive a dose of IPV before departure and get their International Certificate of Vaccination from the Bureau of Quarantine to serve as proof of their vaccination.


DOH noted that there is “no travel restrictions to the Philippines” despite the epidemic declared.


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