So this new booster campaign comes off the back of what’s believed to be community transmission of the polio virus now samples or traces of the virus has been found more than 100 times in wastewater sample samples since February, and experts say that that indicates that it is spreading between various passes being found in a number of different suburbs, especially in northern parts of London and in areas of the south east.
Now this booster campaign, or a rollout campaign for children is being seen as an urgent measure around 1000000 Children and A10 will be contacted over the next couple of weeks. They’ll be offered either a catch up vaccine if they haven’t finished their full childhood course of the polio vaccine, and if they have, then they’ll be offered a booster. Now children are being targeted in this initial campaign, and that’s for two reasons. First of all, they’re hoping to protect children who are seen to be the most vulnerable to polio, and to instances of paralysis that may come about from the virus and also to bolster the community transmission as a whole so that the virus is.
Less likely to spread. Have there been any confirmed cases of polio yet? No, they haven’t, and experts aren’t sure how many instances of the case of cases there have been. How many people have been infected? However, no one has come forward to report a case of polio virus here in London or in the UK. They have not been there, hasn’t been a confirmed case since 1984 and in England and the United Kingdom were declared polio free in 2003 Now this is in fact the first time in 40 years that have been multiple traces of the virus found in wastewater samples.
At the same time. That’s what’s indicating that there. Used transmission in the community, however, given that there have been no specific cases identified, experts do believe that that that those that are being transmitted are asymptomatic and that people may not know that they have been carrying the virus. Yeah, do authorities know why perhaps the polio has been showing up like this and reemerging in London? Health experts here in the UK are believe that the virus was brought to the United Kingdom by someone that had been recently vaccinated and that, as I mentioned, it’s been spreading asymptomatically and so people don’t know that they have it. However, they are putting it down to a well.
The vulnerability of the community down to a drop in uptake of the polio vaccine. And as I mentioned, the UK was declared polio free in 2003 and that was off the back of a really successful childhood vaccination uptake, both here in the UK. And in many developed countries around the world, including in Australia. However, over the past decade, the uptake has dropped. Currently it’s at 92 % in the United Kingdom, and so experts are hoping that this might be a timely reminder for people to come and either get their children boosted or to have an uptake and one of the the key, I guess, indicators that it is up to the vaccine uptake may be responsible for this increased transmission is that the parts of London, the areas where transmission is being seen at the moment.
They have the lowest polio childhood vaccine uptake in the entire country, so there really is a strong messaging that children do need to get vaccinated, and that despite this polio free status, there is still a risk to children and to the community. Michelle, appreciate your time. Good to talk. Thanks so much.