What is a booster dose?
Immunity (protection) from some vaccines declines with time. A "booster" dose is an additional dose of vaccine given to strengthen or "boost" the immune system to provide better protection against disease.
What is the polio vaccine?
The polio vaccine protects against polio, a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus.
In young children, the polio vaccine is usually combined with other vaccines so that children can get protection against several diseases with fewer shots.
Who should get the polio vaccine?
The polio vaccine is recommended for all children. Some adults who are at increased risk of polio should also get the vaccine. There are many different vaccines used to prevent polio.
- The Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib) Vaccine is given as a series of 3 doses to infants at 2, 4, and 6 months of age.
- The Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) Vaccineis given to infants as a booster dose at 18 months of age after completing a three-dose primary series of DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib.
- The Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio (Tdap-IPV) Vaccine is given as one dose to children 4-6 years of age. This is a booster dose for children who were immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and polio at a younger age.
The Polio (IPV) Vaccine is mostly given as a booster dose to adults who had a series of polio vaccine in childhood and are at increased risk of exposure to the poliovirus (for example, through work or travel).
- People who have not been immunized and may be exposed to the poliovirus through work or travel should also get the vaccine.
- A series of this vaccine can also be given to infants and children who have already received protection from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and Hib in other vaccines.
What are the benefits of the vaccine?
The polio vaccine is the best way to protect against polio, a serious and sometimes fatal disease. When you or your child get vaccinated, you help protect others as well.
Where can I learn more?
Click on the vaccine name to access the HealthLink BC file for more information about the vaccine, including possible reactions and who should not get the vaccine.
- Polio is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus.
- While most polio infections show no symptoms, others can result in paralysis of arms or legs and even death. Paralysis occurs in about 1 in 200 people infected with the poliovirus.
- Polio can be spread by contact with the bowel movements (stool) of an infected person. This can happen from eating food or drinking water contaminated with stool.
Extensive use of the polio vaccine has eliminated the disease in the western hemisphere. However, polio still exists in three countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria). It takes only one traveler with polio to bring the disease into Canada, and if people aren't immunized, it could spread quickly here. To keep Canada polio-free, we need to keep vaccinating against it until the disease is completely eliminated world-wide.