Common questions about polio
Polio is caused by a virus that can be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can also be spread through the stool (feces) of an infected person, or through direct contact with an infected person.
Polio symptoms include fever, nausea and flu-like symptoms such as aching muscles. A child with polio may also be unusually tired, have a loss of appetite, or have a stiff neck or back. Polio symptoms can progress to paralysis.
To be protected against polio, your child needs multiple doses of the DTaP-IPV-Hib and DTaP-IPV vaccines, at the ages and stages recommended in the routine schedule. Your child is recommended to receive the DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine at two months of age, followed by a dose at four months of age, at six months of age, and at 18 months of age. Your child will then also need a dose of the DTaP-IPV vaccine between four and six years of age.
Side effects of the polio vaccine are usually very mild, and temporary. Your child may have a slight fever, be fussy, sleepier or have less appetite than usual, and his or her arm or thigh might be a bit red or sore where the needle went in. These side effects are very common, usually happen about 12 to 24 hours after the immunization, and usually go away within a few days. For tips on managing symptoms following immunization, click here.