On 19 September 2019, the Philippine Government thru the Department of Health, declared a Polio Epidemic, as two (2) cases of Poliomyelitis were confirmed (VDPV2). In addition to this finding, environmental samples taken from the sewage of Manila yielded positive result for VDPV Type 1 for two (2) consecutive months after an initial positive sample for VDPV Type1.
The World Health Organization stated that the risk of international spread of Polio is low, however, the risk of transmission and recirculation of the Polio virus within the Philippines is high due to low population immunity.
The Philippine Department of Health, as the lead agency mandated to ensure health of all its citizens, and visitors, hereby recommends the following measures, to provide protection and assurance to all concerned.
For all travelers entering the Philippines:
- Foreign nationals and returning Filipinos of all ages who are intending to stay in the Philippines for four (4) weeks and more are encouraged to receive a single dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) not later than four (4) weeks before their scheduled travel to the Philippines. Given that the traveler has not received polio vaccination in the last 12 months.
- Travelers undertaking urgent travel within four (4) weeks, are recommended to receive a single dose of IPV at least by the time of departure as this will still provide benefits, particularly for frequent travelers.
For all travelers leaving the Philippines:
- They are encouraged to check the immunization requirements of the country they are going to, and if required, receive a dose of Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) before departure and get their International Certificate of Vaccination from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) to serve as proof of their vaccination.