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Your Child's Immunizations: Polio Vaccine (IPV)

What Is Polio?

Polio is a viral infection that can cause permanent paralysis.

IPV Immunization Schedule

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

Sometimes IPV is given in a combination vaccine along with other vaccines. In this case, a child might receive a fifth dose of IPV. This is safe.

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 Is the IPV Vaccine Recommended?

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

Possible Risks of IPV Immunization

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 IPV Immunization

The vaccine is not recommended if your child:

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

Caring for Your Child After IPV Immunization

IPV may cause mild fever, and soreness and redness at the site of the injection for several days. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever and to find out the right dose.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

  • Call if you aren't sure whether the vaccine should be postponed or avoided.
  • Call if any problems happen after your child gets the vaccine.