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Polio is spreading in the US for the 1st time in decades. Do you need a booster?

A specific type of poliovirus has been spreading in Rockland County, New York, as well as in neighboring areas, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to add the United States to a list of countries (opens in new tab) where similar polioviruses have been detected. The list includes about 30 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, such as the United Kingdom, Israel, Yemen, Algeria and Niger. 

The official addition of the U.S. to this list was announced last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (opens in new tab) (CDC) and the news raised questions about what happens next. Do people who received all of their polio vaccine doses as children now need a booster? What should you do if you’re uncertain of your vaccination status, or if you know for sure that you have not received the polio vaccine?

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