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Home > > Health & WellnessInactivated Polio (IPV) Immunizations

Inactivated Polio (IPV) Immunizations

Polio is an illness that can lead to paralysis of the arms, legs and even death. Polio used to be common in the United States, before the vaccine was created.

Who Should Get the Polio Vaccine (IPV) and When?

There are two types of the polio vaccine, IPV, which is the shot recommended in the United States today, and a live, oral polio vaccine (OPV), which is drops that are swallowed. OPV is better at keeping the disease from spreading to other people, but for a few people, it can actually cause polio. OPV is no longer recommended in the United Sates. IPV shot does not cause polio.

Most people should get the polio vaccine when they are children. Children get four doses of IPV at the following ages:

  • A dose at two months
  • A dose at four months
  • A dose at six to 18 months
  • A booster dose at four to six years

Who Should Not Get the Polio Vaccine (IPV)?

People who have had a life-threatening reaction to the antibiotics neomycin, streptomycin or polymyxin B should not receive the vaccine. Anyone who had a severe allergic reaction to a polio shot should not get another one.

People who are moderately or severely ill should wait until they are well before getting the vaccine. People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated.

What are the Risks from the Polio Vaccine (IPV)?

Like any medicine, a vaccine is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of the polio vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. Some people who get the vaccine have soreness where the shot was given. The vaccine used today has never been known to cause any serious problems, and most people don't have any problems at all with it.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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