Polio is a serious viral disease. It used to kill or
paralyze thousands of people each year. According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), a 1916 epidemic claimed 6,000 lives
and paralyzed 27,000 people.
Widespread vaccination changed that. Today, the United
States is free from polio. There have been no reported cases for several
decades. However, vaccination is still important. Polio still exists in other
parts of the world. Without vaccination, infections could easily return.
The only recommended polio vaccine is the inactivated polio
All children should be vaccinated against polio. IPV is
given in four doses, as follows:
dose: 2 months old
dose: 4 months old
dose: between 6 and 18 months
dose: between 4 and 6 years old
Some children may get a fifth dose as part of a combined vaccine.
Most adults don’t need polio vaccinations since they were probably
vaccinated as children. However, certain people are at higher risk of
traveling to areas where polio is still common
workers who might be exposed to polio
workers who might treat polio patients
These adults should be vaccinated. The amount of vaccine an
adult will need varies. People who were fully vaccinated as children only need
a booster. People who only got one or two shots should get any remaining doses.
People who weren’t vaccinated should get all three shots.
Adults who need vaccination should ask
their doctors for more information.
Certain people should not get the IPV vaccine, including:
allergic to vaccine components including the antibiotics neomycin, polymyxin, or streptomycin
who have previously had a bad reaction to IPV
who is currently
moderately to severely ill
Severe side effects from IPV are extremely rare. However,
some people experience soreness at the injection site.