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Inactivated Polio Vaccine


What is the inactivated polio vaccine?

The inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is an injection given to help prevent polio. Polio is a disease caused by a virus. The virus damages your 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.

Who should get the IPV?

  • Infants and children usually get a 4-dose series. The first dose may be given to infants as young as 6 weeks. If 4 doses are given before a child is 4 years old, a fifth dose is given at 4 to 6 years and at least 6 months after the last dose. If the third dose is given at 4 years or older and at least 6 months after the last dose, the fourth dose is not necessary. The IPV is usually given to children as follows:
    • 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
      Immunization Schedule 2018
  • Adults 18 years or older usually do not need the IPV. Only adults who are at high risk need the IPV, such as people traveling to areas where polio is common. Other people at risk are lab workers and healthcare providers who could come into contact with the polio virus. The following are reasons a high-risk adult will receive IPV:
    • No previous polio vaccine was received. Adults who have not received any polio vaccine should be given 3 doses as follows:
      • The first dose at any time
      • The second dose 1 to 2 months later
      • The third dose 6 to 12 months after the second dose
    • The polio immunization is not complete if only 1 or 2 doses of polio vaccine were received. The rest of the recommended doses should be given. The schedule is continued from the last dose no matter how long ago it was received.
    • At least 3 doses of polio vaccine were received. A booster shot of IPV may be given.

What if my child misses a dose of the IPV?

Ask your child's healthcare provider what to do if an IPV dose is missed.

Who should not get the IPV?

Do not get the IPV if you have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine in the past. Do not get the IPV if you are allergic to latex or certain antibiotics. These include neomycin, streptomycin, or polymyxin B. Wait to get the IPV if you are sick or have a fever. Pregnant women should wait to get the vaccine until after they give birth.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your mouth and throat are swollen.
  • You are wheezing or have trouble breathing.
  • You have chest pain or your heart is beating faster than normal for you.
  • You feel like you are going to faint.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • Your face is red or swollen.
  • You have hives that spread over your body.
  • You feel weak or dizzy.
  • You have severe shoulder pain.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

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

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

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

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