International measures to stop the spread of wild polio virus: update

01 June 2021

Article: 55/2202

On 21 May 2021, the twenty-eighth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus, was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The committee agreed that the situation still constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and recommended the extension of the temporary recommendations.

The committee provided the director-general with updated risk categories as below: 

  • A certificate for polio vaccination under IHR (2005) is required for travellers from countries listed below, which are infected with WPV1, cVDPV1 or cVDPV3, with the potential risk of international spread: 
    • Afghanistan (WPV1) 
    • Pakistan (WPV1) 
    • Madagascar (cVDPV1)
    • Malaysia (cVDPV1) 
    • Yemen (cVDPV1) 
  • While travellers are encouraged to carry proof of polio vaccination, there is no certificate requirement under IHR (2005) for the countries listed below, which are infected with circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (type cVDPV2), with or without evidence of local transmission, with the exception of Afghanistan, Malaysia and Pakistan, which are also infected with WPV1 or cVDPV1: 
    • Afghanistan 
    • Benin 
    • Burkina Faso 
    • Cameroon 
    • Central African Republic 
    • Chad 
    • Congo 
    • Cote d’Ivoire 
    • Democratic Republic of Congo 
    • Egypt 
    • Ethiopia 
    • Ghana 
    • Guinea 
    • Iran 
    • Kenya 
    • Liberia 
    • Malaysia 
    • Mali 
    • Niger 
    • Nigeria 
    • Pakistan 
    • Senegal 
    • Sierra Leone 
    • Somalia 
    • South Sudan 
    • Sudan 
    • Tajikistan 
    • Togo 
  • States no longer infected by WPV1 or cVDPV, but which remain vulnerable to re-infection by WPV or cVDPV: 
    • China 
    • Indonesia 
    • Mozambique 
    • Myanmar 
    • Zambia

Advice for travellers and further information on poliomyelitis can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.

Source: TRAVAX, 27 May 2021