Polio vaccine and syringe

What you need to know about the polio vaccine

You may have read recent news stories that an unvaccinated adult in New York became the first person known to be infected with polio in the United States in a decade. Polio is a very contagious disease caused by a virus but is extremely rare in the U.S. because it is a standard childhood vaccination.

Polio vaccine for children

In the U.S., children are given inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) by injection. IPV can’t cause polio and is safe for a child with a weak immune system.

The IPV polio vaccine is given at these ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • Between 6 and 18 months
  • Between ages 4 and 6

Because the first polio vaccine came out in 1955, most adults today were vaccinated as children and are likely protected from getting polio as well. At this point, there's no need to seek out a polio booster for a fully vaccinated child or adult.

Not sure if you are vaccinated against polio?

If ARC has a record of you or your child’s polio vaccine, that can be found on your ARC MyChart immunization page—search for “Immunization” under “Your Menu.”

  • If you do not have documentation of your polio vaccine, it is best to check with your parents or check the state vaccine records where you grew up.
  • Adults who are incompletely vaccinated should get or complete their polio vaccinations with IPV.
  • Vaccinated adults with increased risk of coming in contact with poliovirus may receive one lifetime IPV booster if at increased risk of exposure through travel or work.

If you need to update or complete your polio vaccination, call 512-272-4636 and press “1” to make an appointment.

Resources and information regarding the polio vaccine:

See the CDC schedule of recommended childhood vaccinations.
Learn more about polio.
ARC Vaccination Policy.

Tags: Polio vaccine