Adults Can Consider Polio Boosters
As the worldwide polio outbreak and the spreading of poliovirus continues in 2023, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization are taking aggressive actions.
The WHO recently confirmed the spread of poliovirus remained a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in early February 2023.
And the CDC reissued its Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, Global Polio Outbreak notice on February 21, 2023.
These actions are relevant since polio is a crippling and potentially deadly disease.
The CDC's new travel alert expanded the number of countries impacted by polio or poliovirus detections to include countries such as Egypt, Isreal, and the United Kingdom.
Additionally, the CDC says before traveling to any at-risk destination, it recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine.
While this CDC advice has been consistent for many years, the CDC is discussing clarifying this recommendation.
On February 23, 2023, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices considered the following changes:
- Whether more specific guidance on adult vaccination, including the use of adult booster doses, can be provided in the context of circulating poliovirus.
- Whether adults who are immunocompromised should be recommended an additional adult booster of a polio-containing vaccine.
- Whether fractional doses of IPV (fIPV), as prequalified by WHO, should meet polio vaccination requirements, including for people immigrating to the U.S.
- Consider criteria under which novel Oral Polio Vaccine type 2 might be used in areas with outbreaks or persistent poliovirus circulation.
Given the CDC's poliovirus wastewater investigation has expanded outside of New York to include Pennsylvania and Michigan and Canada's recent confirmation, the number of polio booster questions may continue to increase.
Moreover, the CDC reaffirms its primary vaccine guidance recommendation, encouraging concerned persons to discuss polio vaccination options with their doctor or pharmacist.
The CDC says polio is a vaccine-preventable disease with ample access at local clinics and pharmacies in the U.S.