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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Poliovirus Vaccine

Poliovirus Vaccine (Systemic)

Description and Brand Names | Before Using | Proper Use | Side Effects

  • Immunizing agent, active - Poliovirus Vaccine Inactivated; Poliovirus Vaccine Inactivated Enhanced Potency; Poliovirus Vaccine Live Oral

Poliovirus (poe-lee-oh VYE-russ) 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:

  • Persons traveling to areas or countries where polio is uncontrolled, whether or not they have been vaccinated against polio in the past.
  • Persons who live in areas where polio infection still occurs.
  • Adults who have not been vaccinated or who have not had the complete series of vaccinations against polio and who live in households with children who are to be given the oral polio vaccine (OPV).
  • Employees in day-care centers and group homes for children, such as orphanages.
  • Employees in medical facilities, such as hospitals and doctors" offices.
  • Laboratory workers handling samples that may contain polioviruses.

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.

This vaccine is to be administered only by or under the supervision of your doctor or other health care professional. It is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral solution (U.S. and Canada)
  • Injection (U.S. and Canada)

Brand Names

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S. -

  • Ipol 2
  • Orimune 3

Other commonly used names are:

  • eIPV
  • IPV
  • N-IPV
  • OPV
  • Sabin vaccine
  • Salk vaccine
  • TOPV


For quick reference, the following poliovirus vaccines are numbered to match the corresponding brand names.

This information applies to the following medicines:
1. Poliovirus Vaccine Inactivated*†
2. Poliovirus Vaccine Inactivated Enhanced Potency‡§
3. Poliovirus Vaccine Live Oral§
* Not commercially available in the U.S.
† Not commercially available in Canada
‡ Generic name product may be available in the U.S.
§ Generic name product may be available in Canada


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Poliovirus Vaccine: Before Using

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