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Polio Vaccination

Pronounced [PO-lee-oh]

One of the Recommended Vaccines

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
  • 4 through 6 years

 

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly disease. It is caused by the poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis (can’t move parts of the body).

Polio can be prevented with vaccine. Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is the only polio vaccine that has been given in the United States since 2000. It is given by shot in the arm or leg, depending on the person’s age. Oral polio vaccine (OPV) is used in other countries.

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

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

Almost all children (99 out of 100) who get all the recommended doses of polio vaccine will be protected from polio.

The first polio vaccine was available in the United States in 1955. Thanks to widespread use of polio vaccine, the United States has been polio-free since 1979. But poliovirus is still a threat in some countries. It takes only one traveler with polio to bring the disease into the United States. The best way to keep the United States polio-free is to maintain high immunity (protection) in the U.S. population against polio through vaccination.

 

 

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