Polio Vaccine

Is the polio vaccine safe and effective?

Yes! According to CDC, inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV), which is the only polio vaccine that has been given in the United States since 2000, protects 99% of children who get all the recommended doses.

IPV is safe and effective, and has protected millions of New Yorkers in every community, statewide, against polio for over 22 years. Given in either the arm or the leg depending on the patients age, it's important that both adults and children get all recommended doses for the best protection possible.

Who should get vaccinated against polio?

All New Yorkers who are unvaccinated, including children 2 months and older, those who are pregnant, and people who have not completed their polio vaccine series previously should get vaccinated right away. While children should get vaccinated beginning at 2 months of age, it's never too late to decide to get vaccinated.

Based on the current case identification, unvaccinated New Yorkers who live, work, go to school in, or visit Rockland County are at the highest risk of exposure.

What should I expect?

Adults in these three groups who have never been vaccinated against polio should get 3 doses of IPV:

  • The first dose at any time,
  • The second dose 1 to 2 months later,
  • The third dose 6 to 12 months after the second.

Adults in these three groups who have had 1 or 2 doses of polio vaccine in the past should get the remaining 1 or 2 doses. It doesn't matter how long it has been since the earlier dose(s). Adults who are at increased risk of exposure to poliovirus and who have previously completed a routine series of polio vaccine (IPV or OPV) can receive one lifetime booster dose of IPV.

When should my child get vaccinated against polio, and what should I expect?

All children should get four doses of the polio vaccine with one dose at each of the following ages:

  • Dose 1: 6 weeks through 2 months old
  • Dose 2: 4 months old
  • Dose 3: 6 through 18 months old
  • Dose 4: 4 through 6 years old

What side effects should I expect after vaccination, for me or my child?

You or your child may not notice any changes after getting the polio vaccine. But it's also possible to feel a little "under the weather." This can happen after any vaccine. Following IPV, New Yorkers may have a sore spot where the shot was given.

Importantly, IPV has not been known to cause serious problems, and most people do not have any problems with it. For more information, visit CDC's page here.

Get vaccinated!

Local county health departments, including the Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH), are hosting free polio vaccine clinics. New Yorkers and county residents can also contact a healthcare provider or clinic in their area.

Scheduling information:

New Yorkers who live outside of the Rockland County area but are concerned about exposure because of where they work, go to school, or frequent should contact a healthcare provider near them right away.