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What Is IPV Used For?

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends routine vaccination against polio with IPV 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:
  • Laboratory workers who might come into contact with the polio virus
  • People traveling to areas of the world where polio is still common
  • Healthcare providers who might come into contact with individuals with polio.
This vaccine should be used to complete the entire polio vaccination series. It is no longer recommended to start with IPV for the first doses and finish with the oral polio vaccine for the last doses, as was recommended.

How Does IPV Work?

Simply stated, IPV "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 infection if future exposure occurs.
Polio enters the body through the digestive system. Therefore, IPV is not as good as the oral polio vaccine at preventing the virus from infecting the digestive tract. Such an infection would be harmless to the individual, but could still be spread to other people.
Although the oral polio vaccine, which is a live vaccine, rarely actually causes polio, IPV is currently recommended instead in the United States.

Off-Label Uses for IPV

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend IPV for something other than the uses discussed in this article. At this time, however, there are no universally accepted off-label IPV uses.
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IPV Information

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