Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a disabling and potentially deadly disease. It is caused by the poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis (can’t move parts of the body).
There is no cure for polio, but it can be prevented with safe and effective vaccination. 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
- 4 months
- 6 through 18 months
- 4 through 6 years