Polio Vaccines

Authored by
Staff
Last reviewed
July 23, 2021

Polio Vaccines

Polio can be prevented with a vaccine. Since 2000, the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is most often given in the USA. It is administered by a shot in the arm or leg, depending on the person’s age, says the U.S. CDC.

The CDC recommends that children in the USA get polio vaccinated to protect against poliomyelitis. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Vaccine Recommendations is published on this webpage.

The WHO reported 1,226 cases of all forms of polio were recorded during 2020, compared to 138 in 2018. 

U.S. FDA Authorized Polio Vaccines

IPOL is a sterile suspension of three types of poliovirus: Type 1 (Mahoney), Type 2 (MEF-1), and Type 3 (Saukett). IPOL vaccine is a highly purified, inactivated poliovirus vaccine with enhanced potency administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously.

The oral polio vaccine (OPV) is offered in other countries.

Combination Polio Vaccines

Kinrix (Diphtheria, Tetanus Toxoids, Acellular Pertussis Adsorbed, and Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine) is a noninfectious, sterile vaccine. 

Pediarix is a vaccine for active immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and infection caused by all known subtypes of hepatitis B virus and poliomyelitis.

Quadracel contains diphtheria toxoid, tetanus toxoid, acellular pertussis [pertussis toxoid (PT), filamentous haemagglutinin, pertactin, fimbriae types 2 and 3, inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine.

Pentacel is indicated for active immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, and invasive disease due to H influenzae type b. Pentacel vaccine is approved for use as a 4-dose series in children 6 weeks through 4 years of age (before the fifth birthday).

All combination vaccines that also protect disease from Polio include the three types of poliovirus: Type 1 (Mahoney), Type 2 (MEF-1), and Type 3 (Saukett).

WHO Prequalified Polio Vaccine

Eupolio is the first Sabin-IPV to obtain WHO prequalification. The main advantage of using attenuated Sabin poliovirus strains in IPV production is that there is a lower biosafety risk than wild-type polioviruses used to manufacture conventional IPVs to pose a biosafety hazard case they escape from the manufacturing facility.

nOPV2M4a Polio Vaccine candidate is derived from the live, infectious virus. It has been ‘triple-locked using genetic engineering to prevent it from becoming harmful. nOPV2M4a is genetically more stable than existing OPVs, with a lower risk of reversion to neurovirulence.

SINOVAC's sIPV polio vaccine is approved for use on infants and children aged 2 months and above to prevent poliomyelitis due to infection of types I, II, and III polioviruses. The primary immunization requires 3 doses at least one month apart, beginning at 2 months of age. A booster shot will be given at 18 months of age. The WHO conducted its on-site inspection in February 2021.

nOPV2 Vaccine Candidate

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Prequalification program issued an Emergency Use Listing recommendation for the nOPV2 vaccine on November 13, 2020. This announcement enables the rollout of the nOPV2 vaccine in countries affected by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreaks. The phased replacement during 2021 of Sabin OPV2 with novel OPV2 is expected to substantially reduce the source of cVDPV2 emergence, transmission, and subsequent risk of international spread.  Full licensure and pre-qualification of nOPV2 use are under the WHO Emergency Use Listing procedure.

Polio Vaccine Research News

July 15, 2021 - SINOVAC Biotech Ltd. announced it received drug registration approval from China's National Medical Product Administration for its Sabin strain-based inactivated polio vaccine ("sIPV"). The vaccine is expected to be available on the market by the end of 2021. SINOVAC's sIPV is approved for use on infants and children aged 2 months and above to prevent poliomyelitis due to infection of types I, II, and III polioviruses. The primary immunization requires 3 doses at least one month apart, beginning at 2 months of age. A booster shot will be given at 18 months of age. 

June 29, 2021 - Nigeria reported 10 infections involving circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

June 14, 2021 - The Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan confirmed the third national polio immunization campaign, which will run from June 14 to 17, 2021. The campaign aims to reach approximately 9.9 million children under the age of 5 across the country with polio vaccines and Albendazole deworming tablets.

June 10, 2021 - The Global Polio Eradication Initiative announced the launch of the Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026: Delivering on a Promise at a virtual event to overcome the remaining challenges to ending polio, including setbacks caused by COVID-19. While polio cases have fallen 99.9% since 1988, polio remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), and persistent barriers to reaching every child with polio vaccines and the pandemic have increased polio cases.

May 21, 2021 - The twenty-eighth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) on the international spread of poliovirus was convened by the WHO Director-General on May 4, 2021, with Committee members and advisers attending via video conference, supported by the WHO Secretariat.  The Emergency Committee reviewed the data on wild poliovirus (WPV1) and circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV). As a result, the Committee unanimously agreed that the risk of international spread of poliovirus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and recommended the extension of Temporary Recommendations for a further three months.

April 30, 2021 - The Lancet published a study that concluded: There is no substantial difference in seroconversion between three fractional doses of IPV and three doses of full-dose IPV, although the full dose gives higher titers of antibodies for poliovirus type 1, 2, and 3. The use of fractional IPV instead of the full dose can stretch supplies and possibly lower vaccination costs.

Polio Outbreak News 2020

For the latest news about polio outbreaks around the world, visit this page.

Poliomyelitis Overview

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease that primarily affects children 5 years of age and under. There are 3 strains of wild poliovirus (type 1, type 2, and type 3).

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) map indicates various countries continue to report new poliovirus cases. However, since the launch of the GPEI in 1988, it has successfully decreased wild poliovirus cases by over 99%. A listing of polio cases over the past 12-months is published at this GPEI link.

In the USA, all infants and children should receive 4 doses of IPV at ages 2, 4, 6–18 months, and 4–6 years. The first dose may be given as early as 6 weeks of age. The final dose should be administered at 4 years of age or older, regardless of the number of previous doses, and should be given 6 months or more after the previous dose. A fourth dose in the routine IPV series is unnecessary if the third dose was given at 4 years of age or older and 6 months or more after the previous dose.

Note: This content has been aggregated from the CDC, WHO, pharmaceutical vaccine producers, and the PrecisionVaccinations news network and reviewed by healthcare providers, such as Dr. Bob Carlson.