What are the priorities for the polio incident response?

What are the priorities for the polio incident response?

The panellists are Prof David Katz (chair), Dr Jonathan Cohen (Head of Paediatric Infectious Diseases Services, Evelina London Children’s Hospital at St Thomas’), Dr Mary Ramsay (Director of Public Health Programmes at the UK Health Safety Agency), Dr Leonora Weil (Public Health Consultant, UK Health Security Agency, London; Co-Director, NHS London COVID Legacy and Equity Partnership, focussing on closing the equity gap in routine immunisations, screening and access to good health; and lead for a multi-stakeholder pan London Task Force for UKHSA and the NHS to increase rates of uptake for all childhood vaccinations); Dr Joseph Spitzer (General Practitioner, North – East London) and Dr Ben Kasstan (medical anthropologist at the University of Bristol and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). Further details about the panellists can be accessed here. Dr Fiona Sim will propose a vote of thanks.

Doctors and healthcare professionals need to be aware of the “real story” of the polio incident as a starting point for what they say to patients, to communities and to colleagues asking questions. Given the Jewish linkage that has been reported during the current incident, it is a particularly relevant issue for Jewish doctors – not only because cases might arise, but also to combat any misinformation.

We are fortunate to be able to call on several experts involved in aspects of the incident to lead us through and educate us about the issues involved. We will hear about polio as a infectious disease and about the virus itself; and about what wastewater analysis is and what it teaches us. We will be given an overview of the response programme, learn about the role of general practice and also learn also about the how communities can become better engaged in vaccination strategies.

Watch a recording of the event here.