Eleven points to know about Polio Vaccine

1. What are symptoms of polio?

Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunization.

2. What are different Polio vaccines available ?

Polio vaccines are available in two form:

  • Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV):  Taken orally as drops, Main preventive measure against polio
  • Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) : Given through injection. In countries still using OPV, it is given in addition to OPV. Strengthens the immune system and provides further protection from polio

3. What is the schedule for Polio vaccine?

bOPV : Total 4 doses and a booster dose

At birth, 1½ months, 2 ½ months, 3½ months & booster at 16-18 months

IPV: 2 doses

At 1½ months & 3½ months

4. Where i can get this vaccine?

This vaccine is available for free at all Government hospitals on a specific day every week. You can also visit your Pediatrician clinic for vaccination.

5. Why does my child need two different vaccines for polio?

Using both vaccines together provides the best form of protection from polio.

6. Is IPV safe?

IPV is one of the safest vaccines in humans.

7. IPV have any side effects?

After the vaccine, there might be a little bit of redness and the skin may feel tender.

8. Do I still need OPV?

Until polio is eradicated globally, OPV is still the main preventative measure against polio. IPV is recommended in addition to OPV and does not replace OPV.

9. Why is polio vaccination being done repeatedly?

Children upto 5 years of age need to be protected from this disease. Repeated vaccination increases the capacity of these children to resist this disease. The polio virus is unable to survive in the vaccinated children, and will finally be eradicated.

10. Can polio vaccine be given to children suffering from cough, cold, fever, diarrhoea or any other ailments?

Yes, this vaccine can safely be given in these conditions.

11. Now that there is no Polio case in India, is it still important for us to take the vaccine?

Polio transmission is going on in countries like Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and there is a risk of virus importation from these countries to India. It is important to vaccinate our children and keep their protection level high till polio is eradicated globally.


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