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Does polio still exist?

Page last updated 10 July 2018

In Australia, the last two epidemics were in 1956 and 1961 to 1962. Following the introduction of polio vaccine in the 1950s, the last case of locally acquired polio in Australia was in 1972. Australia was declared polio free in 2000.

However, polio does still exist in other parts of the world and cases continue to be reported in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. However, reported cases of polio have been dramatically reduced worldwide through an intensified Global Polio Eradication Initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As there is no cure for polio, the Australian Government recommends that Australians travelling to countries where polio is considered a risk, are up-to-date with recommended vaccinations against polio, including a booster, prior to departure.


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Sources & Citations

  1. Australian Government. Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition. 4.21 Polio. Available at: (accessed 14 April 2018).
  2. New South Wales Government Health. Poliomyelitis fact sheet. Available at: (accessed 15 April 2018).

SPANZ.IPV.18.04.0155a - Date of preparation May 2018