Polio - Private Notice Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:48 am on 23rd June 2022.

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Photo of Lord Kamall Lord Kamall The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 11:48 am, 23rd June 2022

We should start by being clear about what has been found. As part of routine surveillance, the MHRA analyses sewage from a number of treatment works and looks at what may be identified—it is world-leading in this. We should pay tribute to the UKHSA for its world-leading work and for being ahead of the game in spotting potential health risks early. It is normal for one to three vaccine-like polio viruses to be detected each year in UK sewage samples, but those are usually one-off findings. In this case, a vaccine has been detected; it is probably related to someone having had the polio vaccine and having shed it as part of their faeces. A couple of things will now happen. First, the MHRA will go further down the system to see whether it can isolate where that came from. Secondly, the messaging is quite clear: you must get your vaccine. Most people get their vaccines as part of a routine. They get it twice in preschool and then at school at 14 as their final booster. However, there are some areas of low vaccination, and we are making sure that we are rolling out that message along all the channels mentioned by the noble Baroness.