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The Polio Vaccine (cont.)

Some people should not get the IPV vaccine or should wait.

These people should not get IPV:

  • Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotics neomycin, streptomycin or polymyxin B should not get the polio shot.
  • Anyone who has a severe allergic reaction to a polio shot should not get another one.

These people should wait:

  • Anyone who is moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should usually wait until they recover before getting polio vaccine. People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated.
Ask your health care provider for more information.

What are the risks from the polio vaccine?

Some people who get IPV get a sore spot where the shot was given. The vaccine used today has never been known to cause any serious problems, and most people don't have any problems at all with it.

However, a vaccine, like any medicine, could cause serious problems, such as a severe allergic reaction. The risk of a polio shot causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.

What if there is a severe reaction to IPV?

What should I look for?

Any unusual condition, such as a high fever or behavior changes. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or neck, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heart beat or dizziness.

If a serious allergic reaction occurred, it would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot. Signs of a serious allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, weakness, hoarseness or wheezing, a fast heart beat, hives, dizziness, paleness, or swelling of the throat.

What should I do?

  • Call a doctor, or get the person to a doctor right away.
  • Tell the doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given.
  • Ask your provider to report the reaction by filing a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) form. Or you can file this report through the VAERS website at www.vaers.hhs.gov, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.
VAERS does not provide medical advice.



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