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Polio and the Poliomyelitis Vaccine

What is Polio (poliomyelitis)?

  • Polio is a virus that often is mild but in some cases can be life altering and sometimes deadly. 

  • It is most often spread through the fecal-oral route by contact with stool from an infected individual

  • Polio is extremely rare in Canada since the introduction of the polio vaccine, cases may still be seen for those who have travelled to endemic polio countries. 

What are the symptoms?

  • Most often people who are infected show no symptoms, around one in four will have flu-like symptoms

  • Some of the minor symptoms include sore throat, fever, fatigue, nausea, and headache.

  • Rare but serious symptoms include inflammation of the central nervous system, paralysis, permanent disability and sometimes death. 

What is the Polio (Poliomyelitis) Vaccine?

  • The polio vaccine provides immunity in individuals close to 95% of time after the primary series, and close to 100% after the single booster dose.  

Who should have the Polio Vaccine?

  • Most children will have had 5 doses of the vaccine by the age of 5 years old. [Alberta Immunization Schedule]

  • Some adults who handle polio or healthcare workers who may contact infected people may need to have a Polio booster

  • Ask Eli or Doug if this vaccine may be right for you!

For more information check out the Canadian Immunization Guide

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