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Inactivated Polio Vaccine for Children


The inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)

is an injection given to help prevent polio. Polio is a disease caused by a virus. The virus damages the brain and spinal cord. This can lead to paralysis or death. The virus is usually spread through direct contact. The IPV is often combined with other vaccines.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

  • Your child's mouth and throat are swollen.
  • Your child is wheezing or has trouble breathing.
  • Your child has chest pain.
  • Your child's heart is beating faster than normal for him or her.
  • Your child feels like he or she is going to faint.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child's face is red or swollen.
  • Your child has hives that spread over his or her body.
  • Your child feels weak or dizzy.
  • Your child has severe shoulder pain.

Call your child's doctor if:

  • Your child has a high fever.
  • Your child has increased pain, redness, or swelling around the area where the shot was given.
  • You have questions or concerns about the IPV.

When your child should get the IPV:

The first dose may be given to infants as young as 6 weeks. Infants and children usually get a 4-dose series:

  • The first dose at 2 months
  • The second dose at 4 months
  • The third dose at 6 to 18 months
  • A booster shot at 4 to 6 years

If your child misses a dose of the IPV:

Ask your child's healthcare provider when to bring your child in for a catch-up dose.

Reasons your child should not get the IPV:

  • He or she had an allergic reaction to a dose of the vaccine.
  • He or she has an allergy to latex or certain antibiotics, such as neomycin, streptomycin, or polymyxin B.

Reasons your child should wait to get the IPV:

  • He or she is sick or has a fever. Wait until he or she feels better and the fever is gone.
  • Your adolescent is pregnant. She may need to wait until after she gives birth.

Apply a warm compress

to the area to relieve swelling and pain.

Follow up with your child's doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.