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Race to find children without full vaccination against polio in London

The NHS is urgently tracking down the parents of 35,000 five-year-old children in London who are not fully vaccinated against polio.

Health officials are hoping to contain the spread of the virus after detecting the first outbreak since 1984.

They are trying to trace it back to a “single household or street” after identifying polio in a sewage plant serving four million people in northeast London.

Experts are concerned polio, which had been eradicated in Britain in the 1980s, could take off again due to relatively low vaccination uptake in London.

Latest NHS data shows 101,000 five-year-olds in England — 15% of the total — have not had their booster polio dose, offered when they reach the age of three.

One third of these, 34,104 in total, live in London. Jane Clegg, the chief NHS nurse for London said they are “reaching out to parents of children aged under five in London who are not up-to-date with their polio vaccinations to invite them to get protected.”

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Source: The Times, 23 June 2022


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