Polio vaccination is used to prevent polio. It works by inducing your body’s natural antibodies towards polio disease. Multiple doses of polio vaccination most often provide a child with lifelong immunity.

Polio is a fatal condition that causes muscular paralysis, including the muscles that allow you to move and breathe. A poliovirus may leave an individual unable to walk without leg braces or breathe without an iron lung. Polio has no known cure.


The two types of polio vaccination may include the following:

  • Oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV)
    • The vaccination is administered to children by drops in the mouth.
    • It is still widely used across the globe.
  • Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV)
    • It is given as a shot in the arm or leg, depending on the person’s age.

How Effective Is Polio Vaccination?

Since 2000, the only polio vaccination administered has been the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). IPV protects practically everyone (99 out of 100) who has gotten all necessary doses from severe poliovirus illness. Two IPV doses give at least 90% protection, whereas three include at least 99% protection.

Who Should Be Vaccinated Against Polio?

Infants and Children

Children must get the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) as part of standard childhood vaccination to protect against poliomyelitis. They must get four doses in all, one for each of the following age ranges:

  • Two months old
  • Four months old
  • Four to six years old
  • Six to eighteen months old

Children who have yet to begin their polio vaccination series or who have yet to receive all prescribed doses should start as soon as feasible or complete their series using the appropriate catch-up plan.


Because most people were presumably inoculated against poliovirus as children, IPV is not included in routine adult immunizations.

Adults who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and at high risk of poliovirus exposure must be vaccinated. Other people who have not been vaccinated or have only been partially vaccinated must see their doctor to determine their polio risk and the polio vaccine’s necessity.

Furthermore, fully vaccinated people who choose to visit countries with a greater risk of poliovirus infection may get a one-time booster dose of IPV.

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