IPV (inactivated polio vaccine) is currently recommended for preventing polio in the United States and most other parts of the world. Unlike the earlier polio vaccine, this one is injected instead of taken by mouth. The standard IPV series consists of four doses (for young children) or three doses (for adults).
Simply stated, IPV "tricks" the body into thinking it has been exposed to a 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.
There are several different types of IPV vaccines, including:
- IPOL® -- just IPV
- Pediarix® -- a combination of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines (DTaP); the hepatitis B vaccine; and IPV
- Pentacel® -- a combination of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines (DTaP); the Hib vaccine; and IPV
- Kinrix® -- a combination of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines (DTaP) and IPV.
(Click IPV for more information on when and how to get vaccinated, to find out what side effects may occur with this vaccine, and to learn about the warnings associated with it.)