Polio Vaccine Type | Usage | Precautions | Side Effects

Polio Vaccine Type | Usage | Precautions | Side Effects

  • Polio is caused by Polio virus, an RNA virus of the Picornaviridae family.
  • Polio virus is an enterovirus causing a paralytic disease most commonly affecting young children.
  • Polio has been eradicated from many countries around the world as a result of an effective immunization program over the years.

Vaccine Type

  • IPV is inactivated (killed) viral vaccine, while OPV is attenuated viral vaccine.

Available as

  • IPV (Salk): Inactivated polio vaccine, given IM.
  • OPV (Sabin): Oral Polio Vaccine.


  • Children: All children should be vaccinated against Polio, especially those living in countries where polio is still present. A four-dose schedule is recommended given at 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months, and a booster dose at the age of 4-6 years. The first dose is sometimes given shortly after birth. IPV is the only vaccine used in the US since 2000, many other countries use OPV.
  • Adults: Most adults do not need polio vaccination because they have their vaccination in childhood. The following groups of people are however at increased risk of acquiring polio:
    (1) Travelers to polio-endemic areas, (2) Lab-personnel working with specimen that may have polio virus, and (3) Health-care workers in contact with patients who may be harboring polio virus.
    These people should receive 3 doses of IPV if previously un-vaccinated, or a booster dose if they have completed vaccination previously.


IPV is contraindicated in:

  • Patients who had severe allergic reaction to previous dose of the vaccine, Neomycin, Streptomycin or any other component of the vaccine.

OPV is contraindicated in:

  • Children suffering from congenital immunodeficiency conditions.
  • Children with AIDS, leukemia, or lymphoma
  • Children receiving immunosuppressive therapy.
  • Family or close contacts of an immunocompromised patient.

Vaccination may be delayed in an acutely ill person until the time when he/she is well again.

OPV carries the risk causing Vaccine Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis (VAPP) at a rate of about 1 case per 2.4 million persons vaccinated. VAPP is more common in infants after receiving first dose of the vaccine.