Alberta Health Services
The polio vaccine you get by an injection (needle) is called IPV.
Children can get this vaccine if they have not had all their polio vaccine doses. Polio vaccine is typically given combined with other vaccines: DTaP-IPV-Hib-HB, DTaP-IPV-Hib, or dTap-IPV. If your child has had all their doses of the other vaccines and just needs polio vaccine, they can get IPV.
Some children may have had oral polio vaccine (OPV), which is given by mouth. OPV used to be given in Canada and is still being given in some other countries. If your child got OPV after April 1, 2016, they may not be fully protected against all types of polio, and they need to get IPV to be fully protected.
This vaccine is not available to adults unless you are at high risk for polio, such as:
You may also need polio vaccine if you are travelling to a country with a high risk of polio. If you need polio vaccine for travel, it is not free for adults. For children who are travelling, contact your local public health or community health centre for more information.
You may not be able to get this vaccine if:
If you have allergies or have had a side effect from this vaccine, check with your doctor or a public health nurse before you get the vaccine.
Although you can get the vaccine if you have a mild illness, such as a cold or fever, you should stay home until you are feeling better to prevent spreading your illness to others.
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 in vaccines that 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. You must wait at least 10 years after getting your childhood immunizations (primary series) for polio before getting this booster.
The vaccines dTap-IPV, DTaP-IPV-Hib, and DTaP-IPV-Hib-HB all protect against polio.
The type of polio vaccine you get depends on your age and if you need protection from other diseases.
If you can get this vaccine for free, contact your local public health or community health centre.
If you want the vaccine and need to pay for it, contact a travel health clinic or talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
After the primary series, the protection for polio is over 95%. After a booster dose, the protection is almost 100%.
Vaccine safety is a top priority. Canada uses extremely safe vaccines. Learn more about vaccine safety in Canada, including how vaccines are monitored for continued safety, and ingredients in vaccines.
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:
At least 1 out of 100 people who got this vaccine reported 1 or more of these side effects. In some cases, it is unknown if the vaccine caused these side effects.
It is 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 is rare to have a serious side effect after a vaccine. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.
There can be mild, short-term side effects after getting a vaccine. Find tips to manage these side effects at home.