• Polio Vaccine

    (IPV Vaccine)

    What Is Polio?

    Polio is a serious illness caused by a virus. It still affects many parts of the world. It is nearly eliminated in the United States. It can cause:
    The polio virus can be spread by person to person contact. Anyone can develop this infection.
    This disease affected thousands of children each year prior to 1950 when the polio vaccine was developed. The use of the vaccine has made polio rare in developed nations.
    Most people who get the infection have no symptoms at all. But some people can develop the following:
    • Mild fever
    • Sore throat
    • Abdominal pain
    • Vomiting
    • Meningitis
    • Paralysis
    Treatment aims to manage the symptoms of the disease.

    What Is the Polio Vaccine?

    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.

    Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?

    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?

    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.

    Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?

    You should not get the polio vaccine if you:
    • Are allergic to the medicines neomycin, streptomycin, or polymyxin B
    • Have had an allergic reaction to a previous polio vaccine
    • Are very ill

    What Other Ways Can Polio Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?

    Avoiding unsanitary conditions and practicing good personal hygiene can help prevent polio.

    What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?

    In the event of an outbreak, all people who have not received the polio vaccine should receive it.


    ImmunizationsHealthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics https://www.healthychildren.org

    Vaccines & ImmunizationsCenters for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines


    Model insert: oral polio vaccine for children. World Health Organization website. Available at: http://www.who.int/immunization%5Fstandards/vaccine%5Fquality/insert%5Fopv%5F2002.pdf. Updated September 2002. Accessed December 1, 2014.

    Poliomyelitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116045/Poliomyelitis. Updated April 19, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2016.

    Polio vaccination: who needs it? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/polio/vacc-in-short.htm. Updated October 3, 2014. Accessed December 1, 2014.

    Polio vaccine. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/kids/vaccines/polio-vaccine.html. Updated December 2010. Accessed December 1, 2014.

    Polio VIS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/ipv.html. Updated November 8, 2011. Accessed December 1, 2014.

    10/30/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116045/Poliomyelitis: 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 Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116045/Poliomyelitis: 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.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.