Poliovirus vaccine is an active immunizing agent used to prevent poliomyelitis (polio). It works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the virus that causes polio.
There are two types of polio vaccine that are given by injection, poliovirus vaccine inactivated (IPV) and poliovirus vaccine inactivated enhanced potency (eIPV). In the U.S. and Canada the type of vaccine that is given by injection is eIPV. The type of vaccine that is given by mouth is called poliovirus vaccine live oral (OPV).
Polio is a very serious infection that causes paralysis of the muscles, including the muscles that enable you to walk and breathe. A polio infection may leave a person unable to breathe without the help of an iron lung, unable to walk without leg braces, or confined to a wheelchair. There is no cure for polio.
Immunization against polio is recommended for all infants from 6 to 12 weeks of age, all children, all adolescents up to 18 years of age, and certain adults who are at greater risk for exposure to polioviruses than the general population, including:
Immunization against polio is not recommended for infants younger than 6 weeks of age, because antibodies they received from their mothers before birth may interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine. Infants who were immunized against polio before 6 weeks of age should receive the complete polio immunization series.
Taken from www.mayoclinic.com
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