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How Long Does the Polio Vaccine Last and Do You Need a Booster?

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is urging all New Yorkers to get the polio vaccine, if they haven’t already, in the wake of last month’s case of polio in Rockland County, according to Amnesty International. statement Released on August 1.

Polio, which is caused by the polio virus, is a life-threatening disease that causes paralysis in about one in every 200 infected people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Center for Disease Control). Thanks to vaccines developed in the 1950s and 1960s, polio β€” which is spread by person-to-person contact β€” was considered officially eradicated in North America in 1994, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, the CDC . Notes The United States has been “polio-free” since 1979 due to the success of these vaccines.

However, polio vaccination, which has not been eradicated worldwide, is still recommended for children in the United States. β€œThe polio vaccine is currently part of the standard vaccine schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Corey Fisher, Do, a family physician at the Cleveland Clinic, told SELF. It is given in four separate doses over the first five years of life.

In most parts of the country, children are required to get the polio vaccine to attend public schools, Jill Schust, MDa pediatric infectious disease specialist and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health, according to SELF.

The vaccination rate is high in many β€” but not all β€” regions of the United States, Dr. Fisher adds: β€œThere are pockets of unvaccinated individuals in certain communities β€” such as those in Rockland County where an unvaccinated man has contracted the disease β€” which leaves them at a particularly high risk. “. (The polio vaccination rate for 2-year-olds in Rockland County is 60.5%, compared to a statewide average of 79.1%, per NYSDOH.)

The latest case grabs the attention of experts because it is so surprising. “This case is very important, and represents the first case in the United States in nearly 10 years,” says Dr. Fisher. The last known case in the United States occurred in 2013, according to NYSDOH. The new case in New York also highlights the need to ensure that you and your children are vaccinated and thus protected from polio. “All unvaccinated New Yorkers, including children two months of age and older, pregnant women, and people who have not completed the polio vaccine series before, should be vaccinated immediately,” the New York Department of Health said in a statement. We don’t have any cure for polio. “If you or your children haven’t been vaccinated, you should definitely go and do it now,” says Dr. Schest.

How long is the polio vaccine – and who should consider using a booster dose?

Given all the news of disease outbreaks β€” from COVID-19 to monkeypox β€” it’s understandable to wonder if it should be a polio booster in the future. But, as of now, unless you live, work, or go to school in Rockland County (or travel to a country where polio is endemic, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, depending Center for Disease ControlThe answer to that is no, experts say. according to Center for Disease ControlThree doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) are 99% to 100% effective in preventing polio.

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