Two children in Ukraine were reported to be paralysed after contracting polio from a rare strain of the virus (cVDPV1). Because of the inadequate vaccination coverage in Ukraine, this virus strain has had the chance to spread. Only about 50% of children in Ukraine are fully immunized against polio.

As opposed to the Netherlands, vaccination in the Ukraine is done with a  live attenuated polio vaccine. In extremely rare cases, the attenuated polio virus can mutate to a strain capable of causing disease.  Referred to as a vaccine-derived poliovirus, such a strain is now in circulation. A massive vaccination campaign is underway in Ukraine to stop the outbreak. Travellers to Ukraine are advised to ensure their polio vaccination is up to date.

For more information on travel vaccinations contact your local public health service.