What is polio vaccine?

May 18th, 2017
9months and older

18

May

What is polio?

Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by polio virus. Polio virus enters the body through the mouth. It can cause some serious illness;

  • Paralysis (can’t move arm or leg).
  • Meningitis (irritation of the lining of the brain).
  • It can kill people who get it, usually by paralyzing the muscles that help them breathe. Polio used to be very common in the United States. It paralyzed and killed thousands of people a year before the vaccine was invented.

Why get vaccinated?

Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) can prevent polio.

History:

 A 1916 polio epidemic in the United States killed 6,000 people and paralyzed 27,000 more. In the early 1950’s there were more than 25,000 cases of polio reported each year. Polio vaccination was begun in 1955. By 1960 the number of reported cases had dropped to about 3,000, and by 1979 there were only about 10. The success of polio vaccination has sparked a world-wide effort to eliminate polio.

Today:

Polio has been eliminated from the United States. But the disease is still common in some parts of the world. It would only take one person infected with polio virus coming from another country to bring the disease back here if we were not protected by vaccine. 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 because Immunization against polio virus triggers an excellent immune response and long-lasting immunity to all types of polio virus.

 

When shall children get vaccinated?

IPV is a shot, given in the leg or arm, depending on age. It may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

Children

Children get 4 doses of IPV, at these ages:

  • A dose at 2 months
  • A dose at 4 months
  • A dose at 6-18 months
  • A booster dose at 4-6 years (several different vaccines in the same shot) contain IPV.
  • Children getting these vaccines may get one more (5th) dose of polio vaccine. This is not a problem.

What are the risks from IPV?

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. However, any medicine could cause a serious side effect, such as a severe allergic reaction but the risk of polio vaccine causing serious harm is extremely small.

Some people should not get IPV or should wait.

These people should not get IPV:

  • Anyone with a life-threatening allergy to any component of IPV, including the antibiotics neomycin, streptomycin or polymyxin B, should not get polio vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
  • Anyone who had a severe allergic reaction to a previous polio shot should not get another one.

These people should wait:

  • Anyone who is moder9months and olderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should usually wait until they recover before getting polio vaccine. People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated.

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