MANILA (UPDATE 2) - At least 9 countries now require vaccination certificates from travelers arriving from the Philippines and other countries affected by polio.
Most countries usually require polio vaccine certificates from travelers originating from areas where the highly contagious viral disease is endemic, but several territories have taken extra precaution, according to a July 2019 list released by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Since 2014, the WHO has "declared the international spread of wild poliovirus to be a public health emergency of international concern" as the disease could "result in irreversible paralysis" that could affect leg and respiratory muscles.
The virus reemerged in the Philippines in September, nearly 2 decades since the country was declared polio-free.
Filipinos are now expected to present polio vaccination certificates before they can be granted visas or entry permits in the following countries:
Polio vaccination is required for travelers arriving from polio-affected countries (polio-exporting countries).
A polio vaccination certificate is required from travelers arriving from countries and territories with risk of polio transmission. Travelers who are not vaccinated or unable to present a vaccination certificate are offered oral polio vaccine at the border.
Filipinos staying in Indonesia for at least 4 weeks must present an international certificate of vaccination. If a traveler does not have this document upon entry to Indonesia, he or she can avail for an immunization at the point of entry for a fee.
Polio vaccination is required for travelers arriving from or going to affected countries.
Proof of polio vaccination is required for persons travelling to and from countries exporting poliovirus as well as for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.
An international certificate of immunization, attesting to the taking of a dose of poliomyelitis vaccine over a period of 12 months and 4 weeks prior to departure, is required for all travelers from poliomyelitis-affected countries.
Polio vaccination is required for travelers arriving from polio-exporting countries.
Administration of mandatory oral polio vaccine (OPV) to all outgoing international travelers and incoming long-term visitors of all ages, and an International Certificate of Vaccination as proof of vaccination are required.
International certificate of polio vaccination is required for all travelers arriving from polio-exporting countries.
Polio vaccination is required for travelers arriving from countries with polio outbreaks.
The Embassy of Morocco in the Philippines clarified on Monday that it has yet to require visa applicants to submit polio vaccination certificates.
“We didn’t get anything yet from Morocco,” El Kbir Ez-zahouaini, Morocco’s Deputy Head of Mission in Manila, told ABS-CBN News.
“We have to investigate with Morocco if they implement it or not,” he said.
The Department of Health has also advised those traveling to the Philippines to ensure that they have availed of the polio vaccine before their trip.
"International certificate of polio vaccination is required for travelers arriving from or going to high-risk countries," according to the WHO's recommendations for those traveling to and from the Philippines.
The poliovirus vaccine must be administered to "travelers of all ages going to countries with ongoing poliovirus outbreaks" between 4 weeks and 12 months prior to travel, the WHO said.
Travelers who fail to acquire the vaccine during the prescribed period "should receive a dose of polio vaccine at least by the time of departure as this will still provide benefit, particularly for frequent travelers," it said.