Oral Polio Vaccine: No longer recommended
There are two kinds of polio vaccine: IPV, which is the shot recommended in the United States today, and a live, oral polio vaccine (OPV), which is drops that are swallowed.
Until recently OPV was recommended for most children in the United States. OPV helped us rid the country of polio, and it is still used in many parts of the world.
Both vaccines give immunity to polio, but OPV is better at keeping the disease from spreading to other people. However, for a few people (about one in 2.4 million), OPV actually causes polio. Since the risk of getting polio in the United States is now extremely low, experts believe that using oral polio vaccine is no longer worth the slight risk, except in limited circumstances which your doctor can describe. The polio shot (IPV) does not cause polio. If you or your child will be getting OPV, ask for a copy of the OPV supplemental Vaccine Information Statement.
4. Some people should not get IPV or should wait
These people should not get IPV:
- Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotics neomycin, streptomycin or polymyxin B should not get the polio shot.
- Anyone who has a severe allergic reaction to a polio shot should not get another one.
These people should wait:
- Anyone who is moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should usually wait until they recover before getting polio vaccine. People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated.
Ask your health care provider for more information.