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Polio, a serious disease that was once common in the United States, can be prevented with IPOL. It is often given as a routine childhood vaccination. Some IPOL uses are approved for adults. For example, people traveling to areas of the world where polio is common and healthcare workers who might come into contact with the polio virus should get vaccinated.

What Is IPOL Used For?

IPOL® (inactivated polio vaccine) is a routine childhood vaccine used to prevent poliomyelitis (known more commonly as simply "polio"). It provides excellent protection against polio paralysis without the risk of actually causing polio, which was a problem with the previous oral polio vaccine.
In particular, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends routine vaccination against polio with an inactivated polio vaccine (such as IPOL) for children. Routine vaccination of adults (even if they did not complete the polio vaccine series as children) is not recommended, except for the following groups of people:
  • People traveling to areas of the world where polio is still common
  • Laboratory workers who might come into contact with the polio virus
  • Healthcare providers who might come into contact with individuals with polio.
This vaccine can be used to complete the entire polio vaccination series. It is no longer recommended to start with IPOL for the first doses and finish with the oral polio vaccine for the last doses, as was once recommended.

IPOL and Polio Eradication

Polio was once a common and much-feared disease in the United States. It caused death and paralysis in thousands of Americans. However, as the result of widespread use of the polio vaccine, there has not been a single case of "wild" (naturally occurring) polio in the United States in more than 20 years.
Today, parents might wonder why their children should be vaccinated against polio, since the disease has been eradicated from the United States. However, polio still occurs in some parts of the world, and it is important to continue vaccinating children until the disease is completely eradicated from the entire world.

If we stopped vaccinating our children against polio, it would take just one case to potentially cause a devastating outbreak in the United States.
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IPOL Vaccine Information

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