Polio Vaccination in the U.S.

  • For best protection, children should get four doses of polio vaccine.
  • Since 2000, the only polio vaccine used in the United States is inactivated polio vaccine (IPV).
  • This vaccine is given as a shot in the arm or leg, is very safe, and protects against severe disease, including paralysis.

Ideally, your child should receive a dose at ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 through 18 months
  • 4 through 6 years

Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) may sometimes be given in the same shot with other vaccines (also called combination vaccines). You can ask your child’s doctor about this option.

Most adults have likely already been vaccinated against poliovirus during childhood. However, some adults might not have received sufficient vaccine protection.

  • If you know or suspect that you are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated, you should receive polio vaccination.
  • If you are fully vaccinated and are at increased risk of poliovirus exposure, including planning to travel to other countries where there is an increased risk, then you may receive a single lifetime booster dose of IPV.

For more detailed polio vaccination recommendations for adults see Polio Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know.

Where to Get Polio Vaccine

Traveling to Another Country?

Mother and daughter at airport

Visit Polio and Travel and CDC’s Travelers’ Health website for travel health information.

Make sure you get your travel vaccination(s) well before your departure date to ensure complete protection. See your healthcare provider for more information.