Why a harder border has its benefits

From BBC Health today:

All children aged one to nine and living in Greater London will be offered a polio vaccine after the virus was detected in sewage.

The virus, which can cause paralysis, has been found 116 times in London’s wastewater since February.

The urgent immunisation campaign will see nearly a million children offered the vaccine – including those already up to date with their jabs.


Polio in Scotland was wiped out in the UK by 2003 and, I feel sure, many years before that in Scotland.

The above news reminds us that border checks between Scotland and its much larger neighbour might be a good idea as we struggle to contain the spread of future pandemics.

I’m reminded of a similar worry regarding London’s emerging measles spread and lack of vaccination against it. In June, I wrote on vaccination rate variation across the UK:

From Public Health Scotland today:

Quarterly uptake rates remained high in Scotland; around 96% of children had received each routine immunisation by the time they were 12 months old, with the exception of rotavirus vaccine, which had 94.5% uptake. 94.4% of children had the first dose of MMR vaccine by 24 months of age. This rose to 95.9% for children who had reached age 5.


Of concern, NHS England does not publish 12 months data but MMR coverage at 24 months was only 90.3% and in London it has now fallen to only 75%, well below any herd immunity and posing a real risk of a deadly measles outbreak there and across the UK.



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