24 may. 2010

Polio is a disease caused by a virus

Polio is a disease caused by a virus.

 It enters a child’s(or adult’s) body through the mouth. Sometimes it does
not cause serious illness. But sometimes it causes
paralysis (can’t move arm or leg). It can kill people who
get it, usually by paralyzing the muscles that help them

Polio used to be very common in the United States. It
paralyzed and killed thousands of people a year before we
had a vaccine for it.
IPV is a shot, given in the leg or arm, depending on age.
Polio vaccine may be given at the same time as other

Most people should get polio vaccine when they are
children. Children get 4 doses of IPV, at these ages:
􀀳 A dose at 2 months 􀀳 A dose at 6-18 months
􀀳 A dose at 4 months 􀀳 A booster dose at 4-6 years

Most adults do not need polio vaccine because they were
already vaccinated as children. But three groups of adults
are at higher risk and should consider polio vaccination:
(1) people traveling to areas of the world where polio is
(2) laboratory workers who might handle polio virus, and
(3) health care workers treating patients who could have polio.
Adults in these three groups who have never been
vaccinated against polio should get 3 doses of IPV:

􀀳 The first dose at any time,
􀀳 The second dose 1 to 2 months later,
􀀳 The third dose 6 to 12 months after the second.
Adults in these three groups who have had 1 or 2 doses
of polio vaccine in the past should get the remaining 1 or 2
doses. It doesn’t matter how long it has been since the
Earlier dose(s).

Polio - 1/1/2000
Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) can prevent polio.
History: A 1916 polio epidemic in the United States killed
6,000 people and paralyzed 27,000 more. In the early
1950’s there were more than 20,000 cases of polio each
year. Polio vaccination was begun in 1955. By 1960
the number of cases had dropped to about 3,000, and by
1979 there were only about 10. The success of polio
vaccination in the U.S. and other countries sparked a
world-wide effort to eliminate polio.

Today: No wild polio has been reported in the United
States for over 20 years. But the disease is still common
in some parts of the world. It would only take one case of
polio from another country to bring the disease back if we
were not protected by vaccine. If the effort to eliminate
the disease from the world is successful, some day we
won’t need polio vaccine. Until then, we need to keep
getting our children vaccinated.

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.

Adults in these three
groups who have had
3 or more doses of
polio vaccine (either
IPV or OPV) in the
past may get a booster
dose of IPV.
Ask your health care
provider for more

W H A T  Y O U  N E E D  T O  K N O W

1- What is polio?
2- Why get vaccinated?
3-Who should get polio?
4- Vaccine and when?

What should I look for?
Look for any unusual condition, such as a serious allergic
reaction, high fever, or unusual behavior.
If a serious allergic reaction occurred, it would happen
within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot. Signs
of a serious allergic reaction can include difficulty
breathing, weakness, hoarseness or wheezing, a fast heart
beat, hives, dizziness, paleness, or swelling of the throat

What should I do?
Call a doctor, or get the person to a doctor right
In the rare event that you or your child has a serious
reaction to a vaccine, there is a federal program that can
help pay for the care of those who have been harmed.
For details about the National Vaccine Injury
Compensation Program, call 1-800-338-2382 or visit the
program’s website at http://www.hrsa.gov/osp/vicp

• Ask your doctor or nurse. They can give you the
vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of
• Call your local or state health department’s
immunization program.
• Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
-Call 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)

-Visit the National Immunization Program’s website at
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Immunization Program
Vaccine Information Statement
Polio (1/1/2000) 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-26

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.
Some people who get IPV get a sore spot where the shot
was given. The vaccine used today has never been
known to cause any serious problems, and most people
don’t have any problems at all with it.
However, a vaccine, like any medicine, could cause
serious problems, such as a severe allergic reaction. The
risk of a polio shot causing serious harm, or death, is
extremely small.

Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it
happened, and when the vaccination was given.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or health department to
report the reaction by filing a Vaccine Adverse
Event Reporting System (VAERS) form.

Or you can file this report through the VAERS website
at www.vaers.org, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.
VAERS does not provide medical advice.
Reporting reactions helps experts learn about possible
problems with vaccines.

Some people should not get
4 IPV or should wait.
5 What are the risks from IPV?
6 What if there is a serious

The National Vaccine Injury
7 Compensation Program
8 How can I learn more?

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Postpoliolitaff.- Asociación Post Polio Litaff A.C Primera Organización oficial sobre Síndrome de Post Poliomielitis En México.

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