GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT :: Overview of Immunizations
What is poliomyelitis?
Poliomyelitis, also called polio, is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by three types of poliovirus. The poliovirus is a virus most recognized for its destruction to the nervous system causing paralysis. The majority of individuals who are infected with polio, however, have no symptoms and few have mild symptoms. Of those persons that do acquire the infection, 2 percent or fewer may develop paralytic disease. Since the advent of the polio vaccine during the early 1950s, infections from the poliovirus have nearly been eradicated.
Immunization against polio:
Today, polio is extremely rare in the United States because of the use of the vaccine. However, it is still common in other countries, so all children need to be immunized for protection from the disease. The type of polio vaccine recommended in the US is called inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). This is an inactivated (killed) form of the virus and provides a very safe way to give immunity to polio. Another form called oral polio vaccine (OPV) was given in years past. But the OPV was a live-form of the virus and had a small risk of causing polio. OPV is still given in other countries because it is more effective than IPV in preventing the spread of polio.
When is IPV given?
IPV is given to babies and children in four doses at ages:
What are the risks from IPV?
A vaccine, like any medication, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. However, the IPV is very safe and most people have no problems other than soreness in the location where the shot was given.
How do I care for my child after immunization with IPV?
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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
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