HomeBabiesPolio Vaccine for children: Everything You Need to Know

Polio Vaccine for children: Everything You Need to Know


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Polio is a highly contagious viral disease  seen in children that can cause paralysis and even lead to death. It most commonly spreads through contaminated water or food and can be deadly if not treated properly and on time. Children under the age of five are especially vulnerable to the disease, which is why it is so important for them to be vaccinated against it. The polio vaccine has proven to be safe and effective and is the best way to protect your children from this potentially deadly disease.

What is Polio Vaccine?

Polio Vaccine is one of the most important vaccines for children. It is safe and effective in preventing polio, a potentially fatal disease caused by a virus. The virus can spread from person to person and infect the brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis.
Polio Vaccine is given as shots or drops. The number of doses and the schedule depending on the child’s age.

What are Polio Drops and their benefits?

Polio drops are also an important part of preventing polio. The drops contain a small amount of dead virus that helps the body build immunity to polio before infection occurs. The drops are usually given two times a year, with the first dose given at around 6 months old and the second dose given at 4 years old. Polio drops are an effective way to protect children from polio. They are safe and easy to administer, and they help ensure that a large number of  children are vaccinated against the disease. Polio drops are also an important part of maintaining herd immunity against polio, which is essential for protecting vulnerable populations from the disease.

There are several key benefits that Polio Drops have over the polio vaccine. Firstly, Polio Drops are much more effective at preventing the spread of polio. They are up to 99% effective in preventing the disease. Secondly, Polio Drops are safer than the polio vaccine. They have very few side effects and are not known to cause any serious health problems. Finally, Polio Drops are much cheaper than the polio vaccine. They can often be obtained for free or at a very low cost from many different sources.

What are the different Causes of polio in children?

There are many different causes of polio in children, but the most common cause is contact with the stool or respiratory secretions of an infected person. The virus usually enters the body through the mouth and multiplies in the intestine, where it is then excreted in the stool. From there, it can spread to other people through close contacts, such as sharing eating utensils or close physical contact. It can also spread through contaminated food or water. In some cases, the virus can be spread through contact with an infected animal, such as a monkey or bat.

Polio is most commonly seen in children under the age of five, but it can occur at any age. There is no specific cure for polio, but there are treatments that can help to lessen the symptoms and improve a person’s quality of life. In some cases, people may need to be hospitalized for supportive care. There is also a vaccine that can help to prevent the spread of polio, but it is only effective if given before a person is exposed to the virus.

What are the different Types of Polio Vaccine?

There are two types of polio vaccine:

  •       Inactivated (IPV)
  •       Oral (OPV)

IPV is given as an injection, while OPV is given as a liquid drop.

Both vaccines are effective in preventing polio, but they are used differently. IPV is typically given to babies and young children, while OPV is usually given to children in areas where polio is common.

IPV is the preferred vaccine for people who are at risk of contracting polio, such as healthcare workers or people traveling to countries where polio is common. OPV is generally used in areas where there is a high risk of polio outbreaks, such as countries with poor sanitation or those that are experiencing an outbreak.

OPV polio vaccine was adopted in India for two primary reasons. The first reason is that it is a highly effective vaccine. It has been shown to be more than 99% effective in preventing polio, and it also provides a high level of protection against other diseases, such as meningitis and encephalitis. The second reason is that the OPV polio vaccine is very affordable, and this makes it an attractive option for countries with limited resources.

No matter which vaccine you receive, it is important to finish the entire series of shots to be fully protected against polio.

How Well Does the Polio Vaccine Work?

The polio vaccine is one of the most successful vaccines ever developed. It has been estimated that the vaccine has prevented more than 5 million cases of polio worldwide.

When India had around 60% of the world’s polio cases, the Pulse Polio Immunization Programme was launched on 2 October 1994. During the last two decades, India has been declared polio-free by the World Health Organization, with the last polio case being reported in Howrah in West Bengal on 13 January 2011. Almost all children (99 out of 100) receive the fully recommended doses of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). The CDC says that children should receive four doses of the polio vaccine for maximum protection.

The polio vaccine is very effective at preventing the disease, but it is not perfect. There are still a small number of people who get polio even after being vaccinated. The most common side effect of the polio vaccine is a sore arm where the injection was given. This soreness is usually mild and goes away quickly. Serious side effects from the vaccine are rare, but they can include seizures and paralysis. If you have any concerns about the polio vaccine, talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional.

What are the Possible Side Effects of OPV?

Most people who receive OPV do not experience any serious side effects. however, a small number of people may develop a condition called vaccine-associated poliomyelitis (VAPP). VAPP is a rare but serious complication that can occur after vaccination with OPV. The risk of developing VAPP is approximately one in two million doses of OPV administered.

The most common side effects associated with OPV are mild and include soreness at the injection site, fever, and headache. More serious side effects are rare but can include meningitis, paralysis, and even death. Anyone who experiences any of these side effects should seek immediate medical attention.

It is important to note that the risks posed by wild-type poliovirus are much greater than the risks associated with OPV. Wild-type poliovirus is highly contagious and can cause paralysis or death in a small percentage of those infected. In contrast, VAPP is very rare and does not spread from person to person. For this reason, it is still recommended that children receive OPV as part of their routine childhood vaccinations.

If you have any questions or concerns about the risks associated with OPV, please speak with your child’s doctor or health care provider.

What are the Childcare and School Polio Vaccine Requirements in India?

The Childcare and School Polio Vaccine Requirements in India are as follows: All children under the age of five years must be vaccinated against polio. Children between the ages of six months and five years old must receive three doses of the vaccine, while children over the age of five years old must receive two doses. Booster doses may also be required for children who have not been vaccinated previously or who have only received one dose. In addition, all children must be vaccinated against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. The childcare and school polio vaccine requirements in India are designed to protect children from these deadly diseases.


Polio is a potentially fatal viral disease. The polio vaccine is safe and effective in preventing polio. Polio drops contain a small amount of virus that helps the body build immunity to polio. They are also an important part of maintaining herd immunity against polio, which is essential for protecting vulnerable populations from the disease. Polio is most commonly seen in children under the age of five. Hence, it is essential to immunize your children against polio by vaccinating them with polio vaccine or drops. Thanks for reading!


1. At what time polio drops should be given?

The first dose of polio drops is given at birth in India. Each of the next two doses is given after a four-week interval. To put it simply, a baby receives one dose at birth, another at one month, and a third at the age of two months.

2. What if I or the children in my family missed polio drops?

 As soon as possible, you need to resume immunization. The immunization against polio is offered free of charge at Government health facilities.

3. What is the age limit for the polio vaccine?

Guidelines are based on probabilities of disease, and the risk of disease beyond the age of 5 is very low, indeed negligible. The OPV is therefore not usually recommended as a first dose or a reinforcing dose beyond 5 years.

4. Can we give polio drops during fever?

Even if you have a minor cold, you can receive a vaccine. A more serious illness with a fever or infection may require you to wait until you recover before receiving this vaccine.

Pooja N Swamy (M.Sc Biomedical Sciences)
Pooja Holds Master's Degree in Biomedical Sciences from Vellore Institute of Technology. She believes in strong research and clear understanding over the subject. Always determined and focussed with a thirst to learn new things. Hardworking, flexible and grounded to align with the goals.


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