IPOL

How Does It Work?

Simply stated, the IPOL vaccine "tricks" the body into thinking it has been exposed to an actual polio infection, but without the risk of an actual infection. The vaccine contains three different strains of polio virus that have been "inactivated" (killed). These viruses cannot cause polio. The body produces antibodies that will help fight the infections if future exposure occurs.
 
Polio enters the body through the digestive system. IPOL is not as good as the oral polio vaccine for preventing the polio virus from infecting the digestive tract. Such an infection would be harmless to the individual, but could still be spread to other people.

However, because the oral polio vaccine (which is a live vaccine) can rarely actually cause polio, IPOL is currently recommended instead of the oral vaccine in the United States.
 

When and How to Get IPOL

Some general considerations to keep in mind about this vaccine include the following:
 
  • IPOL is given as four doses (for children) or three doses (for adults). It is often given at the same time as other routine childhood immunizations.
     
  • This vaccine can be injected either into a muscle (intramuscularly) or just under the skin (subcutaneously).
     
  • Individuals can be vaccinated if they have a minor illness, such as the common cold. However, IPOL should be postponed if the child is moderately or severely ill.

Dosing Information

There is only one standard recommended dose for this vaccine, although the exact vaccination "schedule" varies, depending on the age and previous vaccination history of the individual (see IPOL Dosage for more information).
 
A Dose of Reassurance for Parents of Picky Eaters

IPOL Vaccine Information

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