Why I got my one-year-old vaccinated against polio

This does not happen with the injected vaccine, which contains a form of virus that is essentially dead and unable to reproduce at all. This is why many countries are switching to injected polio vaccines – for example, the UK moved away from oral polio vaccination in 2004. The injected vaccine is given in four or five doses, the first at two months of age.

How did I get here?

So why the virus in the wastewater of London? The chain of transmission may have started with a child — someone who was recently vaccinated with an oral vaccine in another country, says Stonehouse. “Maybe this kid is totally fine, maybe he’s stopped producing the polio vaccine now,” she says. “But maybe they passed it on to someone else, they passed it on to someone else.” The virus appears to have spread through a small, but unknown, number of people in London.

I say London because that’s where the virus was discovered. Stonehouse says sewage is routinely checked for a range of viruses at two sites there and one in Scotland. But many virologists believe the virus could spread more widely in the UK and beyond – it’s just that we haven’t researched.

why now? “Bad luck,” Stonehouse said. It’s possible that this kind of spread has happened before and we haven’t noticed. This is no reason to be careless. “The virus spreads so easily that any indication of transmission is really concerning,” she says.

Just how worried should we be? Adults can develop severe illness, but it is rare, and should remain protected with any childhood vaccinations they received. I am grateful for the sugar lump of vaccine that was fed as a child.

Children under the age of five are most at risk of contracting polio and its complications, so it is important to ensure that children are aware of their routine vaccinations. My daughter should already be protected – she’s already had the three recommended doses for a child her age.

Children are more likely to catch and spread the polio virus than adults, and can do so even if they receive the injected vaccine. A statement from the British Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) cites unpublished evidence that The pertussis vaccine given to pregnant women can lower the immune response of their babies for the first time immunizations, indicating that those vaccinations may not be protective early in life. This is partly why the vaccine is now being offered to vaccinated children like mine. And because the vaccine is so safe, “even if you’re fully covered, it wouldn’t hurt to get another vaccine,” says Stonehouse.

Polio cannot be cured, but it can be prevented. Which is why I’ve got my daughter together, with baby-friendly biscuits and YouTube ready Video Cocomelon On my phone, to our local doctor on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

My oldest daughter was not invited to get a booster – the vaccines were not offered to children who received a preschool shot (at three years and four months old) within the past year. But she will be eligible in two months. Hopefully we won’t need one by then.

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