Your Child's Immunizations: Polio Vaccine (IPV)

Your Child's Immunizations: Polio Vaccine (IPV)

Lea este articulo en Espanol

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 2014





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

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
Web SiteNational Immunization Program This website has information about immunizations. Call: (800) 232-2522
OrganizationImmunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.
Web SiteCDC: Pre-teen and Teen Vaccines CDC site provides materials in English and Spanish for parents, teens, pre-teens, 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.
Related Articles
Your Child's Immunizations Immunizations protect your child from potentially fatal diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy.
Polio Polio is a contagious, historically devastating disease that was virtually eliminated from the Western hemisphere in the second half of the 20th century thanks to widespread vaccination.
How Do I Know Which Vaccines My Kids Need? Find out what the experts have to say.
What Can I Do to Ease My Child's Fear of Shots? Find out what the experts have to say.
How Can I Comfort My Baby During Shots? Find out what the experts have to say.
5 Tips for Surviving Shots If you're afraid of shots, you're not alone. Next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips.
Wiping Out Polio To most, polio is a distant memory. But the disease has never been wiped out in three countries, which means outbreaks in other places are possible. Find out how to help all kids be immunized.
A Kid's Guide to Shots If you're old enough to read this, you've probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids.
Immunization Schedule Which vaccines does your child need to receive and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference.
Immunizations Missing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little "ouch" moment protects you from some major health problems.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter