Polio vaccination is highly effective in producing immunity to poliovirus and protection from paralytic poliomyelitis. Approximately 90 percent or more of vaccination recipients develop protective antibodies to all three poliovirus types after two doses, and at least 99 percent are immune following three doses.
Most people who are vaccinated against polio develop no side effects. However, a vaccination, like any medicine, can cause problems. Most side effects are minor, meaning that the symptoms improve on their own or are easily treated. In rare cases, side effects can be more serious. Very rarely, they can cause severe harm or death. Getting polio vaccination is much safer than getting polio.
(Click Polio Vaccine Side Effects for more information. Click Polio Vaccine Precautions to learn about groups of people who should wait or not receive the vaccination.)
No wild polio has been reported in the United States for more than 20 years, but the disease is still common in some parts of the world. It would only take one case of polio from another country to bring the disease back if we were not protected by vaccination. If the effort to eliminate the disease from the world is successful, some day we won't need polio vaccination. Until then, we need to keep getting our children vaccinated.
Polio Vaccination ProductsThe inactivated polio vaccine is available by itself or in combination with other routine childhood vaccines. Inactivated polio vaccines include: