ISLAMABAD  - All the travellers from Pakistan would not be allowed to go to India without undergoing polio vaccination and acquiring related certificate beyond February 14, with the related deadline extended by the neighbouring South Asian state by the said date.

The deadline for all travellers from Pakistan to India to undergo polio vaccination and obtain related certificate has been extended till February 14th, 2014, Indian High Commission said here Friday.

All persons - adults and children - travelling to India are required to obtain Oral Polio Vaccination (OPV) at least six weeks prior to their departure to India, but not more than one year before such departure, according to the commission’s statement. “Travellers from Pakistan to India after January 30, 2014 are required to carry their vaccination record as evidence of polio vaccination will be requested for entry into India thereafter,” it said.

“Record for administering OPV may be obtained from an authorised medical centre in the format laid out in the World Health Organisation (WHO’s) International Health Regulations 2005 International Certification of Vaccination.” The format of the certificate required is also displayed at the website of the High Commission of India,” the media release said. Once administered, it added, the OPV remains effective for one year, after which vaccination should be taken again.

The Indian High Commission said the step is being taken to safeguard India’s polio-free status attained after sustained after efforts and large investment. It is applicable to all travellers from all countries where polio disease is endemic or where cases of polio are reported. It is also applicable to Indian nationals travelling to and from these countries.

Following the recommendations of Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) on polio eradication, India, last month, had announced that Pakistani travellers would not be allowed to enter India after the prescribed date of January 30 without OPV at least six weeks prior to their departure for India.

The IMB recommendations make it mandatory for the countries where polio is prevalent not to allow their citizens travel abroad without OPV while demanding of the host states to take necessary steps in their visa policies in this regard.

The IMB says it assesses progress towards the attainment of a polio-free world. “The IMB convenes on a quarterly basis (beginning in December 2010) to independently evaluate progress towards each of the major milestones of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) Strategic Plan on the basis of polio epidemiology, poliovirus virology, standard performance indicators and other programme data,” the board’s official website says.

The IMB’s scheduled quarterly meeting would be held in Liverpool England this January 31.  The meeting would review progress made by the Government of Pakistan in coordination with the WHO on the eradication of polio from the country. The repeated detections of polio cases from rural parts of Pakistan, particularly the north-western belt, have increased the international community’s concerns on the health conditions in the country.

The next IMB meeting would be held in London on May 6-7.