IPV (polio vaccine)
What is polio?
Polio is caused by a virus. Most often, it is transmitted through direct contact with someone who has the virus, but some people get it through food and water. Polio can live outside the body for a long time, so a sneeze or a cough can carry the virus from one person to another. There is no way to cure the virus that causes polio. It can only be prevented by immunization.
What about the polio vaccine?
Most people in the United States have never seen a case of polio (full name: poliomyelitis) because the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) has stopped this illness from being a major problem. Even so, polio has not been entirely destroyed, which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges children be vaccinated to protect them from this devastating illness.
Does polio still exist?
Polio is rare in the United States. Due to international vaccination programs, the number of polio cases in other countries has been substantially lowered, but not eliminated.*
Polio is a serious disease that is spread by a virus that can cause paralysis. If you are visiting an area where polio still exists, the best bet is to make sure you are vaccinated before departing.**
*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
**Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How long is the polio vaccine good for?
There is no available data that exactly details the length of effectiveness of the polio vaccine. The general consensus is that it is effective for many years.* For further information, visit www.CDC.gov/Vaccines
*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Are polio vaccines still required?
Polio vaccines are not mandated by federal law. However, laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia require this vaccination for children entering child care or public schools.* See appendix A of https://www.cdc.gov/phlp/docs/school-vaccinations.pdf — This site, updated by the CDC, separates out the states and vaccine requirements.
*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/phlp/publications/topic/vaccinationlaws.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fphlp%2Fpublications%2Ftopic%2Fvaccinations.html
Like to learn more?
See All Vaccinations
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
NMAH | Polio: The Iron Lung and Other Equipment. Available at: https://amhistory.si.edu/polio/howpolio/ironlung.htm. (Accessed: 20 June 2016)
Vaccines: VPD-VAC/Polio/main page. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/polio/index.html. (Accessed: 17 February 2022)
WHO | Poliomyelitis (polio). WHO Available at: https://www.who.int/topics/poliomyelitis/en/. (Accessed: 18 June 2016)
*In select states. Visit MinuteClinic.com for details.
*Vaccinations vary by state based on regulations. Age restrictions apply. See Immunization Scheduler for details.