Polio is a serious infection that’s now very rare because of the vaccination programme. It’s only found in a few countries and the chance of getting it in the UK is extremely low.

Visit the NHS polio page. You can learn about:

  • symptoms
  • how the virus is spread
  • how to protect yourself
  • polio travel advice


Polio vaccination

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that a targeted inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) booster dose should be offered to all children between the ages of 1 to 9.

This is following the discovery of type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus in sewage in north and east London.

The programme will start in areas where they find poliovirus and vaccination rates are low, this includes Hackney.

By giving an extra polio vaccine dose the aim is to boost each child’s protection, starting with the areas of London where they have found the virus.

Boosting immunity in those who are already vaccinated should also help to reduce the risk of the virus continuing to spread.

The NHS in London will contact parents when it’s their child’s turn to come forward for a booster or catch-up polio dose.

Even if your child is up to date with their vaccinations accept this vaccine when offered.

This is to further strengthen their protection against the poliovirus.

Visit GOV.UK for more information.

Beckton Sewage Works

We are working with the UK Health Security Agency since polio was found during a routine sewage inspection at Beckton Sewage Works.

At the moment no one in the wider community is at risk.

The sewage treatment works serves over 4 million people.

It’s likely the virus was found as a result of a person vaccinated with a live virus vaccine.The virus can pass through the body and into the sewage via bowel movement for up to 28 days after vaccination.

Page updated on: 17 August 2022