The Israel Cancer Association (ICA) supports guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health concerning the polio vaccine listed below:
The Ministry of Health guidelines concerning the immunization of children with the live- attenuated vaccine virus when a household member or a first degree relative is receiving chemotherapy treatment ("immunosuppressive therapy"):
According to the chapter "Vaccination under special circumstances" in the vaccine guidebook: a person may receive a vaccine 3 months after the cessation of the immunosuppressive therapy. Hence, a child may be immunized with the live-attenuated vaccine if 3 months have passed since the family member who resides in the same household completed the chemotherapy treatment.
Regarding a patient receiving chemotherapy who does not reside in the same household (as the child who is being vaccinated): a child who has a relative who is immunosuppressed, who does not reside in the same household with the child (for example a grandfather receiving chemotherapy), may be immunized, but the immunosuppressed individual must avoid physical contact with the immunized person for 6 weeks, in order not to become a close regular contact of the immunized person.
If a child who was immunized with the live-attenuated vaccine and a 'immunosuppressed' close contact are left with no choice but to reside in the same household, contact between the 'immunosuppressed individual' and the immunized person should be kept to a minimum for 6 weeks after the vaccination. These guidelines include strict maintenance of personal hygiene of the 'immunosuppressed individual' and all household members, by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly in the following situations: after going to the washroom, before contact with any food, as well as before and after changing diapers. The immunosuppressed person should avoid changing the diapers of the individual immunized with the live-attenuated vaccine.
Additional Ministry of Health guidelines for the 'immunosuppressed individual' concerning the polio vaccine, issued on 21 August 2013.
To read the guidelines on the Ministry of Health website (in Hebrew) - please click here
For additional clarifications on the Ministry of Health website (in Hebrew) - please click here
For a 'flowchart' for decision making (in Hebrew) - please click here
For questions and answers about the polio vaccine on the Ministry of Health website (in Hebrew) - please click here
For more Ministry of Health guidelines and clarifications (in Hebrew) - please click here