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polio vaccine (IPV) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving polio vaccine (Ipol)?

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing live or inactivated polio virus. Do not receive this vaccine if you have received cancer chemotherapy or radiation treatment in the past 3 months.

Before receiving a polio vaccine, tell the doctor if you have:

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia or easy bruising;
  • a history of seizures;
  • a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain (or if this was a reaction to a previous vaccine);
  • an allergy to latex rubber;
  • a weak immune system caused by disease, bone marrow transplant, or by using certain medicines or receiving cancer treatments;
  • if you are taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin); or
  • if you are pregnant;

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a cold or fever. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.

Vaccines may be harmful to an unborn baby and generally should not be given to a pregnant woman. However, not vaccinating the mother could be more harmful to the baby if the mother becomes infected with a disease that this vaccine could prevent. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this vaccine, especially if you have a high risk of infection with polio.

Do not receive this vaccine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is polio vaccine administered (Ipol)?

This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or other clinic setting.

Polio vaccine is recommended for all children. It is also recommended for adults in the following situations:

  • people who have never been vaccinated against polio;
  • people who travel to areas where polio is common;
  • people who handle polio virus in a laboratory or other setting; or
  • people who treat patients who have polio.

The polio vaccine is given in a series of shots. Children should receive a total of 4 shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is 2 months old. The booster shots are then given at 4 months, 6 to 18 months, and then 4 to 6 years of age.

Adults who have never been vaccinated against polio should receive a total of 3 shots. Booster shots should be given 1 to 2 months after the first shot, and then 6 to 12 months after the second shot.

Adults who may have received prior polio vaccine(s) should receive 1 or 2 shots, no matter how long it has been since the first vaccination(s).

Your individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.

Your doctor may recommend treating fever and pain with an aspirin-free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) when the shot is given and for the next 24 hours. Follow the label directions or your doctor's instructions about how much of this medicine to take.

It is especially important to prevent fever from occurring if you have a seizure disorder such as epilepsy.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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