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The Polio Vaccination Schedule

The inactivated vaccine is a shot that is given in the leg or arm, depending on the person's age. The polio vaccination may be given at the same time as other vaccinations.
Most people should get vaccinated against polio when they are children. Children get four doses at these ages:
  • A dose at 2 months
  • A dose at 4 months
  • A dose at 6 to 18 months
  • A booster polio shot at 4 to 6 years.
Most adults do not need polio vaccination because they were vaccinated as children. But, in general, three groups of adults are at higher risk for coming into contact with poliovirus and should consider vaccination:
  • People traveling to areas of the world where the disease is common
  • Laboratory workers who might handle poliovirus
  • Healthcare workers treating patients who could have polio.
Adults in these three groups, as well as those who have never received the vaccination, should get three doses:
  • The first dose at any time
  • The second dose 1 to 2 months later
  • The third dose 6 to 12 months after the second dose.
An accelerated polio vaccination schedule can be used for unvaccinated children and adults, with four-week intervals between the three doses of the primary series.
Adults who are at high risk of coming in contact with poliovirus and who have received the three-dose primary series should receive a booster dose. Based on available information, adults do not need more than a single lifetime booster dose with polio vaccination.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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