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DOH Issues Updated Polio Guidance

On Aug. 19th, the Department of Health (DOH) issued updated guidance regarding polio, which was directed to nursing homes and other health care providers. The guidance stresses that anyone who is not yet vaccinated or under-vaccinated for polio should get vaccinated, particularly if they live, work, attend school, or have frequent social interactions with communities in Rockland and Orange counties; these groups are considered to be at greater risk for exposure to polioviruses. If you are unsure if someone is immunized and records cannot be easily and quickly obtained, then treat them as if they are unimmunized. It is noted, however, that polio immunization has been available since 1955 and has been part of the routine childhood immunization schedule for decades. Particular emphasis should be placed on catch-up immunization for young children who are unimmunized or under-immunized. The guidance also offers information on booster doses for those at highest risk of infection. Nursing home providers should review the guidance for more information.

Contact: Diane Darbyshire, ddarbyshire@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8828