Polio Vaccination in the U.S.
- For best protection, children should get four doses of polio vaccine.
- This vaccine is given as a shot in the arm or leg and is very safe.
Ideally, your child should receive a dose at ages:
- 2 months,
- 4 months,
- 6 through 18 months, and
- then a booster dose at age 4 through 6 years.
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) may sometimes be given in the same shot with other vaccines (in other words, in a combination vaccine), so discuss this option with your child’s doctor. Getting the recommended doses of polio vaccine is an important part of keeping the United States polio-free.
For information about adults who may not have received sufficient vaccine protection, see the adult polio vaccination schedule.
- Parents, work with your child’s healthcare provider on doses and timing. If you don’t have health insurance, or if your insurance doesn’t cover vaccines for your child, the Vaccines for Children Program may be able to help.
- Adults, see Finding and Paying for Vaccines or Find a Travel Medicine Clinic
Traveling to Another Country?
Polio has been eliminated from most of the world, but the disease still occurs in a few countries in Asia and Africa. Even if you were previously vaccinated, you may need a one-time booster shot before you travel anywhere that could put you at risk for getting polio. A booster is an additional dose of vaccine to ensure the original vaccine series remains effective.
Visit CDC’s Travelers’ Health website for timely 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.
Also find information about symptoms, vaccination, complications, and transmission of polio in this fact sheet for parents.