POLIOVIRUS has been found in the UK so it’s important you check your vaccine records.
During the coronavirus pandemic, many missed out on their childhood jabs due to lockdowns.
Kids under the age of five are most at risk of the illness and it’s mainly found in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In the wake of samples of polio being found in sewage in East and North London, it’s important to know if you’re at risk of the illness.
To do this, you need to check your NHS record – to see if you are up to date with your immunisations.
First you need to go to your NHS app that’s been lurking on your phone since you downloaded it to get into a venue during the coronavirus pandemic.
All of your immunisations are linked to your NHS number, which you are given on the day you are born – and your NHS app is linked to this.
Some people may be able to see all of their health records through the app and if this is you, then it’s likely you will have to scroll down to your childhood to find if you’ve had the polio shot.
But in order to see all of your records you need to have registered for full online access.
The basic access level will just show your recent medicines – so for most people this will be the Covid vaccine and any regular medications you take such as HRT, the Pill or blood pressure pills.
You’ll also be able to see any previous allergies or adverse reactions.
In order to get full access to your records though, you will need to speak to your GP.
For some medical records, you will need to ask the NHS service that provided you with them.
That could mean that if you received the polio jab in one area, but you now live in another, you might need to get in touch with the original provider and not your current GP surgery.
You might need to fill out a form for these records as you might not be able to access them over the phone due to data protection rules.
However, if you have kept hold of your red book – then you might be able to find records of your polio jab there.
It’s official name, the personal child health record (PCHR) has information in it such as your child’s weight, height, vaccinations and other important information.
But as the last jab is given when a child is 14, this information will not be there, unless you yourself have added it.
In the UK, the polio vaccine is part of the NHS routine childhood vaccination schedule.
What are the 6 signs of polio you need to know
The majority of people who get infected with poliovirus will not have any visible symptoms.
About one in four people with poliovirus infection will have flu-like symptoms that may include:
- Sore throat
- Stomach pain
Symptoms usually last anywhere between two to 10 days before they go away on their own.
In very rare cases, polio can cause difficulty using your muscles, usually in the legs.
This is not usually permanent and movement should slowly return over the next few weeks or months.
It’s given as a jab when a child is 8, 12 and 16 weeks old. And two further shots are administered at 3 years and 4 months old, and at 14 years old.
However, one in ten kids in London aged five are not fully vaccinated against the bug.
Jane Clegg, Chief nurse for the NHS in London, said: “The majority of Londoners are fully protected against Polio and won’t need to take any further action, but the NHS will begin reaching out to parents of children aged under five in London who are not up-to-date with their Polio vaccinations to invite them to get protected.
“Meanwhile, parents can also check their child’s vaccination status in their Red Book and people should contact their GP practice to book a vaccination should they or their child not be fully up-to-date.”
One woman said she is still struggling to understand whether or not her 16-year-old son is protected from the virus.
Deborah Siddoway, from Hexham, Northumberland said she called her GP to check his record, only to be told they have ‘absolutely no idea’, The Telegraph reported.
Because some of these jabs are given through school immunisation programmes, she was told to call the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS).
She said she is still no further in understanding whether or not he has had his vaccine.
It comes as it was yesterday also revealed that over half of teens in the UK are at risk of polio due to missed jabs.
Medics have warned that one in ten kids in the capital aged five are not vaccinated against the bug.
Government data shows children in several London boroughs don’t have adequate protection.
In Hillingdon, West London, just 35 per cent of Year 9s have had their booster, with the local authority having the worst coverage in the country.
It’s followed by Brent, where just a third of teens are fully vaccinated.
Other areas across the UK that have poor uptake levels include Nottingham, Leicester, Middlesbrough and Torbay.
West Berkshire had the highest uptake, with 98 per cent coverage.
The report stated the pandemic had an impact on kids having their jabs and that uptake is still not back up to pre-pandemic levels.
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