IPOL Vaccine Information
A commonly used childhood vaccine, IPOL® (inactivated polio vaccine) is used to prevent polio. It is given by injection in three or four separate doses, depending on the age and vaccination history of the individual. In many situations, IPOL is given at the same time as other routine childhood immunizations.
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.
Although an older oral polio vaccine is still used in some parts of the world because it is less expensive, it is no longer recommended for children in the United States. Since the oral version is a live vaccine, it can rarely actually cause polio; IPOL is currently recommended instead of the oral polio vaccine in the United States.
(Click IPOL for more information about this vaccine, including when and how to get it, what side effects may occur, and what you should discuss with your healthcare provider before getting vaccinated.)