IPV is a series of three or four injections given to prevent polio. Several different forms are available: one contains just the polio vaccine, while the others contain the polio vaccine along with other common childhood vaccines. IPV works by "tricking" the body into thinking it has been exposed to a polio infection, but without the risk of an actual infection.
What Is IPV?
IPV stands for "inactivated polio vaccine." It is the polio vaccine currently used in the United States and much of the rest of the world. In the United States, IPV comes in the following vaccines:
- IPOL® -- just the IPV
- Pentacel® -- diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines (DTaP), the
- Kinrix® -- diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines (DTaP) and IPV.
Unlike the earlier oral polio vaccine, IPV is injected, not taken by mouth. Most importantly, because IPV is an inactivated vaccine, it cannot cause polio. The oral vaccine can cause polio in rare cases. Although it is still used in some parts of the world because it is less expensive, the oral polio vaccine is no longer recommended for children in the United States.
(Click What Is IPV Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses for the vaccine.)