Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) contains killed polio virus. Just two doses of the injected, killed virus vaccine stimulate immunity in more than 90 percent of recipients. Three doses stimulate immunity in almost 99 percent of recipients. The current recommended schedule is three doses at two, four, and six to 18 months, and one between four to six years of age. An oral dose of a polio vaccine used to be recommended, but is no longer generally advised as the disease could spread to nonimmunized people because of the live virus used in it. Request more information if your pediatrician calls for an oral vaccine.
All nonimmunized children are susceptible to polio. Although there is very little polio in the Western hemisphere, it does exist in other parts of the world and has been brought to the United States before by visitors and immigrants. Until polio is eliminated worldwide, it is important to maintain immunity among all children.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, most adults don't need the polio vaccine if they were vaccinated as children. But a booster is advised for people traveling to parts of the world where polio is common, as well as lab workers who may handle the virus, or healthcare professionals whose patients may have polio.