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All about: Sabin vaccine

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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

Note:

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

Category

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

Description

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

Before Receiving This Vaccine

For a while after you are immunized, there is a very small risk (1 in 2.2 million) that any persons living in your household who have not yet been immunized against polio or who have or had an immune deficiency condition may develop poliomyelitis (polio) from being around you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about this.

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For polio vaccine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to polio vaccine or to neomycin, polymyxin B, or streptomycin. The polio vaccines available in the U.S. and Canada may contain neomycin, polymyxin B, and/or streptomycin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals. However, this vaccine has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in humans. Although it is not recommended for all pregnant women, polio vaccine is given to pregnant women who are at great risk of catching polio.

Breast-feeding—Polio vaccine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children—Use is not recommended for infants up to 6 weeks of age. For infants and children 6 weeks of age and older, polio vaccine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of polio vaccine in the elderly with use in other age groups, this vaccine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older persons than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Before you receive polio vaccine, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are receiving or have received any of the following:

  • Cancer medicines or
  • Corticosteroids (e.g., cortisone-like medicines) or
  • Radiation therapy—May reduce the useful effect of the vaccine

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of polio vaccine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Diarrhea or
  • Virus infection or
  • Vomiting—The condition may reduce the useful effect of the vaccine
  • Fever or
  • Illness (moderate or severe) or
  • Weakness (severe)—The symptoms of the condition may be confused with possible side effects of the vaccine
  • Immune deficiency condition (or family history of)—The condition may increase the chance of side effects of the vaccine

Proper Use of This Vaccine

Make certain your health care professional knows if you are on any special diet, such as a low-sugar diet, because the oral solution form of polio vaccine may be given to you on a sugar cube.

Dosing—The dose of polio vaccine will be different for different patients. The following information includes only the average doses of polio vaccine.

  • For prevention of polio:
    • For poliovirus vaccine live oral ( OPV ) oral dosage form:
      • Adults and children 18 years of age and older—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
      • Infants and children 6 weeks to 18 years of age—One dose is given at your first visit, then a second dose is given six to eight weeks later. A third dose is given eight to twelve months after the second dose. A booster dose is given at 4 to 6 years of age only if the third dose was given before the child's fourth birthday. The doses are taken by mouth.
    • For poliovirus vaccine inactivated ( IPV ) injection dosage form:
      • Adults and children 18 years of age and older—One dose is given every four to eight weeks for a total of three doses. A fourth dose is given six to twelve months after the third dose. The doses are injected into a muscle or under the skin.
      • Children 6 weeks to 18 years of age—One dose is given every four to eight weeks for a total of three doses. A fourth dose is given six to twelve months after the third dose. A booster dose is given at 4 to 6 years of age only if the fourth dose was given before the child's fourth birthday. The doses are injected into a muscle or under the skin.
    • For poliovirus vaccine inactivated enhanced potency ( eIPV ) injection dosage form:
      • Adults and children 6 years of age and older—One dose is given at your first visit, then a second dose is given four to eight weeks later. A third dose is given six to twelve months after the second dose. The doses are injected into a muscle or under the skin.
      • Infants and children 6 weeks to 6 years of age—One dose is given at your first visit, then a second dose is given four to eight weeks later. A third dose is given six to twelve months after the second dose. A booster dose is given at 4 to 6 years of age only if the third dose was given before the child's fourth birthday. The doses are injected into a muscle under the skin.

Precautions After Receiving This Vaccine

Tell your doctor that you have received this vaccine if you are to receive any other live virus vaccines within 1 month after receiving this vaccine.

Side Effects of This Vaccine

In very rare instances (approximately 1 case in 760,000 doses), healthy persons who have taken the oral vaccine (OPV) and healthy persons who are close contacts of adults or children who have taken OPV have been infected by the polio virus and have become paralyzed. No paralysis caused by polio infection has occurred with the injected vaccine (IPV) since 1955.

Along with its needed effects, a vaccine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Symptoms of allergic reaction

Difficulty in breathing or swallowing; hives; itching, especially of feet or hands; reddening of skin, especially around ears; swelling of eyes, face, or inside of nose; unusual tiredness or weakness (sudden and severe)

More common

Fever over 102 °F (39 °C) (with injection)

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Irritability; loss of appetite; tiredness

Less common—with injection

Itching or skin rash; redness, soreness, hard lump, tenderness, or pain at the place of injection

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 10/19/1998

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