Polio: UK's Under-10s to be Offered Booster After Virus Found in Sewage

Photo: AP [via The Washington Post]

The Facts

  • On Wed., the UK Health Security Agency said that Britain will offer a polio vaccine booster to children under the age of 10 in London. The decision was made after elevated levels of the poliovirus was found in the capital's wastewater.

  • Britain's Health Security Agency said it has detected the virus in the wastewater of eight London boroughs. Data shows the virus samples detected are derived from the oral polio vaccine, but the levels suggest that a mutated form is now likely spreading in the community.

The Spin

Right narrative

The return of polio to the UK exposes the folly of the nation's focus on COVID. Rather than diverting NHS funds and attention into the promotion of COVID vaccines for children - a virus that poses insignificant levels of risk to young people - health services should be concentrating on protecting them from a disease with potentially devastating outcomes, especially in hard to reach, ethnically diverse communities.

Left narrative

The UK's COVID lockdown strategy is unrelated to the current surge of polio which is being seen across the globe. There is no evidence that recent cases in Britain represent any unchecked spread of the virus according to experts and the oral vaccine - the source of the prominent form of the virus being detected - is not used in the UK. Britain's cases are a mild indicator of ongoing medical struggle in the developing world and the nation is doing its part by offering boosters to vulnerable children.

Nerd narrative

There is a 50% chance that the WHO will certify the worldwide eradication of Polio by early June 2032, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Political split



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