ECDC highlights its recent risk assessments on polio

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​According to its mandate, ECDC has assessed the impact on the EU/EEA countries of the new developments regarding polio in Syria and provided a rapid risk assessment published on 23 October 2013.

According to its mandate, ECDC has assessed the impact on the EU/EEA countries of the new developments regarding polio in Syria and provided a rapid risk assessment published on 23 October 2013.
 
This rapid risk assessment states that "EU Member States receiving refugees and asylum seekers from Syria should assess their vaccination status on arrival and provide polio vaccination and other vaccinations as needed." Moreover, it says that "EU/EEA Member States should give high priority to the assessment of polio vaccination uptake at national, subnational and local level, and to the identification of vulnerable and under-vaccinated populations". Furthermore: “countries where the overall national vaccination coverage is below 90% should increase efforts towards improving vaccination coverage under the national schedule."
 
This rapid risk assessment refers to a more comprehensive risk assessment, published on 26 September 2013, in which ECDC evaluated the risk for Europe due to the recent detection of wild-type polio virus 1 (WPV1) in sewage and asymptomatic carriers in Israel, as this raises new questions on the potential for the importation and re-establishment of WPV in EU/EEA countries.  
 
In this comprehensive risk assessment, ECDC recommendations for EU/EEA Member States were as follows: 
 

  • EU/EEA Member States should give high priority to the assessment of polio vaccination uptake at national, subnational and local level, and to the identification of vulnerable and under-vaccinated populations.
  • Countries where the overall national vaccination coverage is below 90% should increase efforts towards improving vaccination coverage under the national schedule.
  • Environmental surveillance, enterovirus surveillance and other types of supplementary surveillance should be strengthened, and EU-level standards and performance indicators should be agreed. 
  • EU/EEA Member States should recommend that all travellers to areas where WPV circulates an up-to-date polio vaccination status. 
  • Operational and contingency plans are needed in the EU/EEA to mobilise polio vaccine in case of evidence of WPV transmission. The availability of poliovirus vaccines for use in the context of an outbreak should be assessed.

Read more:Suspected outbreak of poliomyelitis in Syria: Risk of importation and spread of poliovirus in the EU

Risk assessment on wild-type poliovirus 1 in Israel - what is the risk for EU/EEA