Polio : vaccine advice

Updated: May 26, 2017

Travel Health Notice

Polio is a highly contagious disease.  It can cause paralysis and death. It is spread through the feces of a person who is infected with the virus and through contaminated food and water.  There is no cure for polio, but it can easily be prevented by vaccination.

Polio infections occur in a few countries around the world.  Some countries may require that you show proof of polio vaccination to enter or leave their country.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travellers: 

Before your trip, find out where polio is circulating and if you need proof of vaccination:


Ensure you are vaccinated against polio before you travel. 

Infants and children under 18 years of age:

Adult (18 years and older):

Practise safe food and water precautions

Practise good hygiene:

Recommendations for health care providers

The Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT) has developed a statement in accordance with the WHO temporary recommendations to provide guidance for health care professionals who are preparing travellers to visit areas with a risk of polio transmission.

On May 2, 2017 the WHO released an update regarding the international spread of polio and temporary recommendations were updated. The situation is reviewed every three months.

For the latest updates on WHO Temporary Recommendations please consult the Global Eradication Initiative.

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