Key message

If you are travelling to Papua New Guinea, don’t run the risk of getting polio – make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date, including having a booster, before you go.

Background to the outbreak

On 22 June 2018, the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus. The outbreak is on-going.

The PNG Government is working with partners, including WHO and UNICEF, to take appropriate outbreak response measures including contact tracing, testing and vaccination.

Polio is very unlikely to spread in Australia because of our high rates of vaccine coverage, good sanitation, and the ability of the health system to respond to cases.

Information for travellers

Travellers to PNG should check their vaccination records and consult their general practitioner (GP) or travel doctor regarding their vaccination requirements.

Everyone travelling to PNG should have completed a three dose course of polio vaccine and had a booster dose – the timing depends on how long ago you were vaccinated and how long you are staying.

Information about travelling to PNG is available at:

More information about the situation in Papua New Guinea, including case numbers and response actions, can be found on the WHO Papua New Guinea and Global Polio Eradication Initiative websites.​

Page Updated: Wednesday 5 December 2018
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW