Is Polio Vaccination Certificate Required When Traveling?

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We posted advance information on our FACEBOOK PAGE regarding the news on POLIO VACCINE being required for all travelers bound for Qatar. A recent update from GMA News (click this link) was quoted showing a list of countries requiring an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) for travelers from the Philippines. The Department of Health (DOH) also released an earlier ADVISORY ON POLIO VACCINATION FOR TRAVELERS (click this link).

POLIO

Related news: Polio outbreak– The Philippines (Source: World Health Organization dated 24 September 2019)

It is worth noting that based on WHO risk assessment:

WHO currently assesses the risk of international spread from the Philippines to be low. However, the risk of further spread within the Philippines is high due to limited population immunity (coverage of bivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV) and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) was at 66% and 41% respectively in 2018) and suboptimal AFP surveillance.

https://www.who.int/csr/don/24-september-2019-polio-outbreak-the-philippines/en/

In a press release from the Department of Health, it says:

“We strongly urge parents, health workers and local governments to fully participate in the synchronized polio vaccination,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said, adding that “It is the only way to stop the polio outbreak and to protect your child against this paralyzing disease.”

“Aside from immunization, we remind the public to practice good personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly, use toilets, drink safe water, and cook food thoroughly,” the Health Chief concluded.

https://www.doh.gov.ph/node/18012

That is why the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) saw the recent development as a positive given that it was an opportunity to update their vaccination list, especially with the fourth polio case discovered in the country. As of November 14, this is one of the banners on their official website.

BOQ-Measles-Website-Banner

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IS IT REQUIRED?

The word ADVISORY means having or consisting in the power to make recommendations but not to take action enforcing them; an official announcement or warning.

Some of our readers are kind enough to share their recent personal experiences (November 10 and 13 respectively). However, we strongly advise everyone to always monitor the MOI-Qatar, Philippine Embassy-Qatar, BOQ-Philippines, and other reliable news organizations for further developments.

POLIO VACCINE UPDATES

 

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In these cases, both the Philippines and Qatar immigration (even of other Middle East countries) are not requiring an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) for travelers to and from the Philippines, just yet. But for safety and health reasons (more than aviation rules), everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated:

  1. All travelers of all ages going to countries with ongoing poliovirus outbreaks should receive a dose of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) or inactive poliovirus vaccine (IPV) between four weeks and 12 months prior to travel.
  2. Those undertaking urgent travel who have not received a dose of OPV or IPV in the previous four weeks to 12 months, should receive a dose of polio vaccine at least by the time of departure as this will still provide benefit, particularly for frequent travelers.
  3. Travelers must secure a Certificate of Vaccination that will serve as proof of vaccination prior to departure.

However, the case may be different for those who are traveling from the Philippines to Qatar under a work visa (esp through an agency). Our company’s partner recruitment agency in the Philippines is making it mandatory for all our selected applicants bound to Qatar to have this Polio Vaccination at the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) office in Manila.

 

WHERE TO RECEIVE A VACCINE?

DOHA, Qatar:

Hamad Medical Center – Communicable Disease Center (CDC) |Travel Clinic – 4025 4001 and 4025 4019. The clinic is by appointment only and currently operates every Monday. Please call +974  4025 4003 to make an appointment (Consultation Fee QR50 with Health Card/QR60 without Health Card; Polio Vaccine is FREE but appointment is required/earliest available schedule is January 2020).

Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) – Call 107 for appointment; visit your designated Health Center (check your Hamad Health Card); Oral Poliovirus Vaccine (OPV) – QR10 with Certificate of Vaccination.

from Primary Health Care Corporation courtesy of Ms. Zhel Enriquez

Doha Clinic – 4438 4333; Inactive Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV) is QR100 with Certificate of Vaccination, no need for appointment from Sat – Thur 8am to 8:30pm at Building C – Ground Floor – Vaccination Unit (also FREE Flu Vaccine available, but an appointment is required).

Al Ahli Hospital – 4489 8888 (IPV is not available as of the moment). However, the usual cost to get an Inactive Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV) is QR150 for adults + QR500 Consultation Fee with Certificate of Vaccination, for children 4-6yrs old Oral Poliovirus Vaccine (OPV) is QR150 + QR500 Consultation Fee (but for Complete/Full Vaccine is QR700 + QR500 Consultation Fee). An appointment is needed. You may call in advance to check about insurance.

Al Emadi Hospital – 4466 6009 (OPV is available with prior appointment). Consultation Fee is QR250 + Vaccine Cost (QR 2.41). You may call in advance to check about insurance.

 

MANILA, Philippines:

Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) Centers – +632 5318-7500 Inactive Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV) is PHP300 (Business Hours: Mon-Fri from 8am to 5pm)

POLIO VACCINE UPDATES3.png
Photo from a friend who recently got vaccinated from Bureau of Quarantine in Manila

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