Immunization protects you from disease.Get protected, get immunized.
The polio vaccine protects against the polio virus. The polio vaccine given by injection (needle) is also called IPV.
Your child can get the polio vaccine in school, up to the end of grade 12. They may get this vaccine if they’ve already been immunized for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis and only need a polio vaccine.
You may also get the vaccine if you’re at risk for polio because of:
You get at least 3 doses of a polio vaccine the first time you are immunized for polio. This is called the primary series. You usually get this series as a baby with vaccines that also protect against other diseases.
After the primary series, you need an extra (booster) dose at age 4 years to keep you protected.
Adults who are at risk for polio may need a booster dose at least 10 years after they had the primary series.
Yes, the vaccines dTap-IPV, DTaP-IPV-Hib, and DTaP-IPV-Hib-HB all protect against polio.
The type of polio vaccine you get will depend on your age and other factors.
After the primary series, the protection for polio is over 95%. After a booster dose, the protection is almost 100%.
If you need the vaccine because of your work (such as some healthcare workers and laboratory workers), talk to your workplace health and safety department.
If you’re travelling to an area that has a high risk of polio, contact a travel health clinic (such as
AHS Travel Health Services) or talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
All others can contact the public health office in their area to get the vaccine.
There can be side effects from the polio vaccine, but they tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:
It’s important to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after your vaccine. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis happens, you will get medicine to treat the symptoms.
It’s rare to have a serious side effect. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.
You may not be able to have the vaccine if you:
Check with your doctor or a public health nurse before you get the vaccine.
You can still have the vaccine if you have a mild illness such as a cold or fever. Always tell your healthcare provider if you have allergies or if you have had a side effect from a vaccine in the past.
What is polio? Polio is an infection of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) caused by a virus. Most people who get infected with polio don’t have symptoms but can still spread the disease. Some people have mild flu-like symptoms. In rare cases, polio can lead to paralysis and death.
Who’s most at risk? Those most at risk of polio are:
How does it spread? Polio spreads through stool infected with the polio virus. The infected stool can get onto hands or into food and water, and then into your mouth.
Current as of: August 10, 2020
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
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