Why get vaccinated?
Vaccination can protect people from polio. Polio is a disease caused by a virus. It is spread mainly by person-to-person contact. It can also be spread by consuming food or drinks that are contaminated with the feces of an infected person.
Most people infected with polio have no symptoms, and many recover without complications. But sometimes people who get polio develop paralysis (cannot move their arms or legs). Polio can result in permanent disability. Polio can also cause death, usually by paralyzing the muscles used for breathing.
Polio used to be very common in the United States. It paralyzed and killed thousands of people every year before polio vaccine was introduced in 1955. There is no cure for polio infection, but it can be prevented by vaccination.
Polio has been eliminated from the United States. But it still occurs in other parts of the world. It would only take one person infected with polio coming from another country to bring the disease back here if we were not protected by vaccination. If the effort to eliminate the disease from the world is successful, some day we won't need polio vaccine. Until then, we need to keep getting our children vaccinated.
Who should get polio vaccine and when?
Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) can prevent polio.
Most people should get IPV when they are children. Doses of IPV are usually given at 2, 4, 6 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years of age.
The schedule might be different for some children (including those traveling to certain countries and those who receive IPV as part of a combination vaccine). Your healthcare provider can give you more information.
Most adults do not need polio vaccine because they were vaccinated as children. But some adults are at higher risk and should consider polio vaccination including:
These higher-risk adults may need 1 to 3 doses of IPV, depending on how many doses they have had in the past.
There are no known risks to getting IPV at the same time as other vaccines.
Who should not get IPV or should wait?
Tell the person who is giving the vaccine:
What are the risks from IPV?
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death.
The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/
Other problems that could happen after this vaccine:
With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of side effects. These are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible.
Some people who get IPV get a sore spot where the shot was given. IPV has not been known to cause serious problems, and most people don't have any problems at all with it.
What if there is a moderate or severe problem?
What should I look for?
What should I do?
VAERS does not provide medical advice.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines.
Persons who believe they may have been injured by a vaccine can learn about the program and about filing a claim by calling1-800-338-2382or visiting the VICP website athttp://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation. There is a time limit to file a claim for compensation.
How can I learn more?
Polio Vaccine Information Statement. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Program. 7/20/2016.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: February 15, 2017.
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