On 5 May 2014, the WHO released emergency instructions under the International Health polio
Regulations, advising that:

  • Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria pose the greatest risk of further “wild poliovirus exportations” in 2014. These countries must ensure vaccination of people who have been resident in these  states for longer than 4 weeks in the last twelve months prior to international travel as part of an emergency order under the International Health Regulations.
  • Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Somalia and Nigeria are infected with wild poliovirus but not currently exporting outside their borders. These states nevertheless pose a risk and the WHO has encouraged immunisation against polio.

New measures

If the visa applicant is applying from outside of Australia and has spent a period of 28 days or longer
on after 5 May 2014 in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria,
Pakistan, Somalia or Syria, or in any combination of these countries, they should be vaccinated
against polio prior to their departure. The visa applicant should provide their current certificate of
vaccination against polio. If they are lodging a new application, this should be provided at the time of
Applicants attending a medical appointment with a panel physician should be informed that they
should take their certificate to the medical appointment.
If the applicant does not provide the vaccination certificate at the time they apply, or at the time they
undertake their medical appointment, their case officer may request evidence of the client’s polio
immunisation status and this could delay the visa application.

Source: Department of Immigration and Border protection

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