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The polio vaccine is made of inactivated polio virus. An oral vaccine containing live polio vaccine was used in the past. There was a small risk of getting polio from the oral vaccine. It is no longer recommended. Today's polio vaccine is given by injection into the arm or leg.
The polio vaccine is recommended for all children. The vaccine can be given to babies as young as 6 weeks. This is only done if the baby is at an increased risk of infection. The regular schedule for giving the vaccine is at ages 2, 4, 6-18 months, and at 4-6 years. If the child receives the fourth dose before age 4 years, then a fifth dose will be needed between 4-6 years.
Certain higher risk adults who did not receive the polio vaccine as children should talk with their doctors about whether they should get it. These include:
People traveling to areas of the world where polio is common
Laboratory workers who handle the polio virus
Healthcare workers who treat patients who may have polio
What Are the Risks Associated With the Polio Vaccine? TOP
Most people have no problems with the polio vaccine. However, some experience soreness around the area where the shot was given. Like all vaccines, the polio vaccine carries a small risk of serious reaction, such as a severe allergic reaction.
Acetaminophen is sometimes given to help prevent pain and fever that may occur after getting a vaccine. The medication may weaken the vaccine's effectiveness in infants. Discuss the risks and benefits of taking acetaminophen with your doctor.
Model insert: oral polio vaccine for children. World Health Organization website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated September 2002. Accessed December 1, 2014.
Poliomyelitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated November 24, 2014. Accessed December 1, 2014.
Polio vaccination: who needs it? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated October 3, 2014. Accessed December 1, 2014.
Polio vaccine. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated December 2010. Accessed December 1, 2014.
Polio vaccine: What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated November 8, 2011. Accessed December 1, 2014.
10/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Prymula R, Siegrist C, Chlibek R, et al. Effect of prophylactic paracetamol administration at time of vaccination on febrile reactions and antibody responses in children: two open-label, randomised controlled trials. Lancet. 2009;374(9698):1339.
11/9/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Updated recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding routine poliovirus vaccination. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009;58(30):829-830.
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