Your Child's Immunizations: Polio Vaccine (IPV)

Your Child's Immunizations: Polio Vaccine (IPV)

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Polio is a viral infection that can result in permanent paralysis.

Immunization Schedule

The inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) is usually given at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months, and 4-6 years.

Though the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) is still used in many parts of the world, it has not been used in the United States since 2000. Using IPV eliminates the small risk of developing polio after receiving the live oral polio vaccine.

Why the Vaccine Is Recommended

The vaccine offers protection against polio, which can cause paralysis and death.

Possible Risks

Side effects include fever and redness or soreness at the site of injection. There is a very small chance of an allergic reaction with any vaccine.

When to Delay or Avoid Immunization

The vaccine is not recommended if your child:

  • has a severe allergy to neomycin, streptomycin, or polymyxin B
  • had a severe allergic reaction to a previous IPV shot

Caring for Your Child After Immunization

IPV may cause mild fever, and soreness and redness at the site of the injection for several days. Depending on your child's age, pain and fever may be treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either medication, and to find out the appropriate dose.

When to Call the Doctor

  • Call if you aren't sure whether the vaccine should be postponed or avoided.
  • Call if moderate or severe adverse reactions occur after the immunization.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: February 2015

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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Related Resources
Web SiteCDC: Vaccines & Immunizations The CDC's site has information on vaccines, including immunization schedules, recommendations, FAQs, and more.
OrganizationImmunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.
Web SiteCDC: Preteen and Teen Vaccines CDC site provides materials in English and Spanish for parents, teens, preteens, and health care providers about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.
Web SiteThe History of Vaccines The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.
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