Polio vaccine: the best protection

Who was going to tell the son of humble Russian migrants, Jonas Salk, that his investigation would change the lifetime of millions of people in the world? On April 12, 1955, in what was then described as a "miracle of medicine," Dr. Salk created the first vaccine against polio.


After eight years of research , Jonas Salk managed to prove that his vaccine against polio , created from a virus without life, was effective and protected people against the terrible disease that had already killed and paralyzed thousands during the first decade of the twentieth century.


For many people, Dr. Salk's vaccine revolutionized the field of immunization and changed the perception that society had of science, since it managed to end the fear and helplessness that many mothers and fathers of the time felt when they could not do nothing to prevent his progeny from becoming infected.


Two kinds of vaccines


According to information from the Medical Center of the University of Maryland, vaccination is the best way to protect against polio. In almost all people, the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the possible risks.


There are two classes of polio vaccines: oral polio vaccine (OPV), which is most often given to minors and comes packaged in the form of drops that are easily applied orally, and inactivated poliovirus (IPV), which is administered in an injectable form in a leg or arm, usually to adults.


Most infants should receive a total of four VOP vaccinations in the following stages of childhood: at 2 months, at 4 months, between 6 to 18 months and between 4 and 6 years.


According to the medical institute, the first and second doses of this vaccine are necessary to help the immune system protect against polio, while the third and fourth doses provide additional protection.


Adults are not given a reinforcement injection, unless there is the possibility of traveling or living in places where this disease has occurred.


IPV can cause mild pain and redness in the area of ​​the injection, usually this is not serious and lasts only a few days. Under normal conditions, there are no other symptoms and no further care is required after vaccination.


Who should not receive the vaccine

The specialists indicate which people should not receive the vaccine:

- Those who have had severe allergic reactions after receiving this vaccine.
- Those who have had severe allergic reactions to antibiotics streptomycin, polymyxin B or neomycin
- Although side effects have not been reported in pregnant women who have received this vaccine, it should be avoided, as far as possible. Pregnant women who are at increased risk of infection or in need of immediate protection should receive an inactivated polio vaccine in accordance with the recommended adult schedule.