Vaccination in the U.S.

Protect Your Child from Polio

CDC recommends that children get four doses of polio vaccine. They should get one dose at each of the following ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 through 18 months
  • (booster) 4 through 6 years

Polio vaccine provides the best protection against polio, or poliomyelitis, a crippling and potentially deadly disease. Almost all children (99 out of 100) who get all the recommended doses of polio vaccine will be protected from polio. Getting the recommended doses of the polio vaccine is an extremely important part of keeping the United States polio-free.

The first polio vaccine was available in the United States in 1955. Currently, the United States only uses inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). IPV is given as a shot in the arm or leg and is extremely safe.

People who travel internationally should be vaccinated against polio and may need a booster shot. See For Travelers for more information on vaccine protection.

Where to Get Polio Vaccine

Learn more about who needs to be vaccinated.

Also find information about symptoms, vaccination, complications, and transmission of polio in this fact sheet for parents.

Page last reviewed: November 28, 2017