“Eradicate Polio” is the main motto of todays world. The consequences of the disease poliomyelitis is quite serious. It can cause paralysis and in some cases death also. Hence each and every person must be immunized with the Polio Vaccine.

Polio Vaccine History

Poliomyelitis has paralyzed the human race from time to time. Although there is no cure for the terrible disease, preventive medication was discovered in the 20th century in the United States, by Jonas Salk.

  • When Salk became the head of Virus Research Laboratory in Pittsburg University in 1947, he found that it was difficult to manufacture enough polio viruses to do the experiments. So, he required 3 basic strains of viruses to fight against polio.

effective polio vaccine

  • With collaboration, fantastic discoveries were made that will further advance the study on making polio vaccine. It was Harvard researchers like Weller, Enders and Robbins, who discovered that it was possible to grow the virus on pieces of tissues.

  • Enders’ team got penicillin from the tissues from where polio and mumps viruses were created in a large amount for study purposes.

  • The Nobel Prize in medicine/physiology was given to this team in 1954.

Jonas Salk Polio Vaccine

In 1952, he had experimented on children who had already recovered from Polio. When they were vaccinated there was an increase in the anti-bodies. He then tried the same polio vaccine on his own family members including himself. The result was amazing. No one fell sick but produced anti-bodies to fight any attacks of the disease.

  • Thus, in 1954 the polio vaccine was launched in the USA and children were inoculated and the results were fantastic.

  • However 11 persons died and so investigations began again.

  • Better standards of production was adopted and the results were immense.

  • 90 other countries began to use Salk’s Polio Vaccine by 1959.

Facts About the Polio and the Polio Vaccine

A virus is the source of Polio disease. It can spread via drinking water, through close contact and also due to poor resistance capacity of a person. As a protection against polio, a polio vaccine also known as IPV is given through injection or by using the vaccine drops that are administered in the mouth. An inactive polio virus (IPV) is the main constituent of the vaccine. Since it is in a dead form it does not cause polio. Polio vaccine is one of the most important and the first vaccine in a child’s immunization schedule.

Polio Vaccine Side Effects

know the polio vaccine side effects

Whenever some foreign bodies enter a body, there is bound to be some changes or side effects. In the case of polio vaccine, here are some side effects you would notice:

  • Minor side effects like redness at the point of injection or mild soreness, irritation, loss of appetite, tiredness or vomiting that disappear on their own.

  • If there are signs of reaction in a patient like pale skin, breathing problems, wheezing, high temperature, palpitation or dizziness— he should be treated immediately.

  • But if any serious changes are noticed in a person vaccinated with the polio dose, the doctor should be informed without delay. Severe cases are hardly reported.

Polio Vaccine Immunization Schedule

Together with the other mandatory vaccines for children, a strict immunization schedule for the polio vaccine should be maintained for children to prevent polio. They are:

  • First dose at 2 months.

  • Second dose at 4 months.

  • Third dose within 6 to 18 months.

  • Last dose when children are 4 to 6 years old.