normal medium large

    About the Disease

    Polio is a serious disease. It spreads when germs pass from an inected person to the mouths of others. Polio can paralyze a person (make arms and legs unable to move) and/or cause death 

    About the Vaccines

    Benefits of the vaccines
    Vaccination is the best way to protect against polio. Because most children get the polio vaccines, there are now very few cases of this disease. Before most children were vaccinated, there were thousands of cases of polio.

    Types of Vaccines

      OPV or Oral Polio Vaccine is the one most often given to children. It is given by mouth as drops. It is easy to give and works well to stop the spread of polio.

      IPV or Inactivated Polio Vaccine is given as a shot in the leg or arm.

    OPV schedule

    Most children should have a total of 4 OPV vaccines. They should have OPV at:

    • 2 months of age
    • 4 months of age
    • 6-18 months of age
    • 4-6 years of age

    Other vaccines may be given at the same time as OPV. 

    Who should get OPV?

    Most doctors recommend that almost all young children get OPV. But there are some cautions. Tell your doctor or nurse if the person getting the vaccine or anyone else in close contact with the person getting the vaccine is less able to fight serious infectiions because of

    • a disease she/he was born with
    • a treatment with drugs such as long-term steroids
    • any kind of cancer
    • cancer treatment with x-rays or drugs
    • AIDS or HIV infection

    If so, your doctor or nurse will probably give IPV instead of OPV.

    If you are older than age 18 years, you usually do not need polio vaccine. 


    If you are traveling to a country where there is polio, you should get either OPV or IPV. 


    If protection is needed during pregnancy, OPV or IPV can be used. 

    Allergy to neomycin or streptomycin

    Does the person getting the vaccine have an allergy to the drugs neomycin or streptomycin? If so, she/he should get OPV, but not IPV. Ask your doctor or nurse if you are not sure. 


    For additional information, please call (631) 444-4000.