Polio VaccineNew York, NY
The polio vaccine is one of the standard vaccinations given to children in the United States. This vaccine protects children and adults from the dangerous poliovirus. Though most people in the United States were vaccinated as children, there are still some adults who may not be fully protected.
Dr. Marina Gafanovich offers the polio vaccine in her Upper East Side Manhattan office. Make sure you are protected, especially if you are traveling abroad any time soon. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 212-548-3263 today.
What is Polio
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries frequent epidemics made polio one of the most feared diseases in the world. There was a time when it paralyzed over half a million people a year worldwide. Polio is a virus that attacks the nervous system and can result in permanent disability and death.
Though polio has all but disappeared from the U.S. since then, the disease can still be a danger for those who are not fully vaccinated traveling to parts of the world where vaccination is not the norm. Polio is highly contagious and can be spread easily through person-to-person contact or infected food and water. The first symptoms of polio are almost exactly the same as the flu and include fever, sore throat, fatigue, headache, vomiting, and muscle weakness.
The Polio Vaccine
Due to its dangerous nature and the fact that it cannot be cured, getting the vaccine is crucial. Currently, people, usually children, are vaccinated in the United States using the inactivated poliovirus vaccine or IPV. Like all vaccines, this vaccine works by triggering the body's immune system to build up defenses against the disease.
The polio vaccination is part of the routine vaccinations given to children in the U.S. Most children receive it before elementary school. It is given in four doses, the first at two months old, the second at four months old, the third at 6 to 18 months old, and the fourth at 4 to 6 years old.
Benefits of the Polio Vaccine
The IPV has an excellent success rate, with three doses providing 99% protection according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Side effects and risks are minimal and far outweigh the clear benefits. Thanks to the vaccine, polio is all but extinct in the United States. The last recorded naturally occurring case was in 1979. Thanks to the high vaccination rate, it is unlikely for anyone to even encounter the virus in the U.S.
Who Should Get the Polio Vaccine
Though polio is largely gone from the United States, it is still important that everyone make sure they are fully vaccinated. This protects those at higher risk of coming into contact with the virus. This includes adults who:
- Are laboratory workers who handle pathogens
- Are in close contact with an infected person
- Travel internationally
- Work in healthcare
We recommend that those unvaccinated or unsure of their status get the primary polio vaccination shots. For adults, this means two doses of IPV at least four to eight weeks apart. These should be followed by a third dose six months or a year after the second dose. This should protect the person for life.
Possible Side Effects
Though rare, no vaccine is without potential risks or side effects. Common side effects related to the polio vaccine, if they occur, include soreness at the injection site, a little joint pain, low-grade fever, and drowsiness. Most patients report that the side effects are mild and go away after a day or two.
There are precautions that should be taken with any vaccine. This is why we examine a patient's health history, current health status, and medications to ensure there is nothing that would cause a harmful reaction to the vaccine. Though severe complications are extremely rare, our staff is prepared to handle them.
Schedule a Visit Today
The polio vaccine is available in our Upper East Side Manhattan office. Our team can make sure you and your family are fully protected. If you have further questions or would like to make an appointment, call 212-548-3263.
Frequently Asked Questions About Polio Vaccine
Q. Is the polio vaccine safe?
A. The vaccine is very safe when administered by a trained healthcare professional. Side effects are unlikely, and severe reactions are extremely rare and treatable. Also, there is no proven link between vaccinations and autism spectrum disorder ASD.
Q. Can the polio vaccination end up causing polio?
A. Absolutely not. The current IPV vaccine contains an inactivated virus, so it cannot cause someone to get polio. This version of the vaccine is the only one used in the United States.
Q. Who should not get the vaccine?
A. Those who have had an allergic reaction to a previous polio vaccine, streptomycin, polymyxin B, or neomycin should not have the vaccine. Pregnant women should talk to their doctor before receiving the vaccine. Also, those showing signs of illness should wait till they recover before getting the vaccine.
Q. What are the signs of a severe reaction?
A. A severe allergic reaction, though not likely, may occur a few minutes or hours after getting the shot. Symptoms include the following:
According to the CDC, this only happens in an estimated 1 in a million doses. However, if it does happen, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Q. Do I need to do anything to get ready for my vaccination?
A. Our team will want to meet with you first and go over your health history and medications to make sure you will not have any adverse reactions to the vaccine. However, there is not much you need to do to get ready for the vaccine. It is a very quick and simple procedure.
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