Polio Vaccine Composition, Dosage, Administration, and Administration Errors

Two inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) products that are not combination vaccines are licensed in the United States. However, only IPOL® is still used in the United States. POLIOVAX® has been discontinued.

Single-antigen IPV (IPOL) is distributed in 10-dose vials. The recommended dose for both children and adults is 0.5 mL. It can be administered by the intramuscular or subcutaneous route, using a needle length appropriate for the age and size of the person receiving the vaccine.

Preferred injection sites:

  • Infants and small children: anterolateral aspect of the thigh
  • Older children and adults: deltoid muscle for intramuscular injection or the posterior aspect of the upper arm for subcutaneous injection

Some combination vaccines (several different vaccines in the same shot) contain IPV, such as Pentacel (DTaP-IPV/Hib), Pediarix (DTaP-IPV-HepB), Kinrix (DTaP-IPV), VAXELIS (DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepB), or Quadracel (DTaP-IPV). For more information about using these combination vaccines, please refer to You Call the Shots: Polio, section on vaccine administration.

For package inserts, see IPOL, Kinrix, Pediarix, Pentacel, VAXELIS, and Quadracel.

Polio Vaccine Administration Errors

People who got IPV but should not have because of contraindications should be monitored for adverse reactions. Any adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967 or through the VAERS website.

Page last reviewed: August 8, 2022