Polio can be prevented through the use of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine or IPV.
On January 1st, 2000 the OPV (oral polio vaccine) was discontinued, forcing all physicians to use the IPV (inactivated poliovirus vaccine). Unlike OPV, the IPV cannot cause polio because the virus contained in it is dead (inactivated). Most adults do not need this vaccine because they received it as children. Adults who have never been vaccinated against polio should receive the vaccine only if they are considered to be at high risk for infection.
Risk factors include:
- Travel to an area where polio is endemic
- Laboratory workers who may be handling the polio virus
- Health care workers who may be treating patients who have polio
Four doses of the IPV are given for complete immunization against polio infection. Doses are usually given at:
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6-18 months
- Booster dose at 4-6 years
Adults who require vaccination can get their first dose at any time; however the second dose should be administered 1-2 months later. The third and final dose should be given 6-12 months after the second dose.
There is a small risk of an allergic reaction with the IPV. Serious allergic reactions are rare.
More serious allergic symptoms include:
Continue to Polio Complications
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- Khan MM, Ehreth J. Costs and benefits of polio eradication: a long-run global perspective. Vaccine. 2003 Jan 30;21(7-8):702-5. 
- Osterrieth P. Oral polio vaccine: fact versus fiction. Vaccine. 2004 May 7;22(15-16):1831-5. 
- Schanke AK, Stanghelle JK, Andersson S, Opheim A, Strom V, Solbakk AK. Mild versus severe fatigue in polio survivors: special characteristics. J Rehabil Med. 2002 May;34(3):134-40.