Polio is a viral infection that can result in permanent paralysis.

Immunization Schedule

The inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) is usually given at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years.

Until recently, the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) was given in the United States. Updated recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices now call for IPV injections. This change eliminates the previous small risk of developing polio after receiving the live oral polio vaccine.

Why the Vaccine Is Recommended

Protection against polio occurs in more than 95% of children immunized.

Possible Risks

Side effects include fever and redness or soreness at the site of injection.

When to Delay or Avoid Immunization

  • IPV should not be given to kids with severe allergy to neomycin, streptomycin, or polymyxin B.

Caring for Your Child After Immunization

IPV may cause mild fever, and soreness and redness at the site of the injection for several days. Depending on the age of your child, pain and fever may be treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either medication, and to find out the appropriate dose.

When to Call the Doctor

  • if you aren't sure whether the vaccine should be postponed or avoided
  • if moderate or severe adverse reactions occur after the immunization