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Certificate of additional vaccination required prior to a stay of more than 4 weeks in 1 country and strongly recommended in 3 other countries

14 Apr. 2017
Certificate of additional vaccination required prior to a stay of more than 4 weeks in 1 country and strongly recommended in 3 other countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the international diffusion of the wild polio virus a ‘Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC)'. Extra measures are in effect to avoid the export of the polio virus from countries where the wild polio virus or "circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (cVDPV)" is circulating to countries where polio is no longer present.

In which countries is the wild polio virus active?

At the moment the polio virus (wild polio virus or cVSPV) is circulating and crossing borders in Pakistan.
Extra vaccination against polio is mandatory between 4 weeks and 12 months before leaving Pakistan.

In 3 countries polio virus is present (wild polio virus or cVDPV), but was not recently exported to an other country. Extra vaccination is strongly recommended between 4 weeks and 12 months before leaving one of these countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Laos
  • Nigeria


People who were fully vaccinated as a child or an adult are sufficiently protected against polio in order not to become ill, but can still become asymptomatic carriers and eventually spread the virus. This is very unlikely in countries with a high vaccination rate, like Belgium, but remains possible in countries (or populations) with a lower vaccination rate. For this reason, it is recommended for all travelers to get one booster injection after the age of 16 (and after a complete routine basic vaccination).

For travelers (and for expats, both children and adults) staying longer than 4 weeks in one of the countries where the polio virus is actively circulating, the World Health Organization (OMS) and The European Centers for Disease Control (ECDC) impose a supplementary revaccination.

The revaccination consists of 1 dose of the vaccine administered between 4 weeks and 12 months before the traveller leaves the country where polio circulates. In other words, if you leave the country 1 year and 3 days after administration of the vaccine, the vaccination is no longer valid!

Mandatory polio vaccinations FOR PAKISTAN

For Pakistan the vaccination is mandatory with an official vaccination certificate in the “International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis”, a.k.a. the “yellow vaccination booklet” (on page 4 and 5, where the vaccination certificate for the yellow fever vaccine can also be mentioned).

This vaccination certificate for polio must not necessarily be obtained in an official yellow fever vaccination center.

Strongly recommended for 3 other countries

At the moment, vaccination is not internationally required for Afghanistan, Laos and Nigeria (an standard proof of vaccination is sufficient). The proof of vaccination is preferably added to the "International Certificate of Vaccination and Profylaxis" on the pages for "other vaccinations".


  • Imovax® Polio
  • Revaxis®
  • Boostrix-Polio®
  • Tetravac®
  • Infanrix-IPV ®
  • Hexyon®
  • Infanrix-Hexa ®

Ask your medical professional to explicitly write the word ‘POLIO’ next to the name of the vaccine.