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Who is at highest risk for getting Polio?

Updated August 15, 2022


Children under the age of five are considered most at risk for polio. 

Other risk factors for polio may include:       

  • Travel to an area where an outbreak of polio has recently occurred or where polio is common
  • Having an immune system disorder (primary immunodeficiency, HIV infection)
  • Taking care of or living with someone who is infected with polio
  • History of tonsillectomy
  • Strenuous physical activity or extreme stress after exposure to the poliovirus
  • Pregnancy

Individuals who receive an intramuscular injection within 30 days of exposure to the poliovirus (wildtype, vaccine strain, vaccine derived) are at higher for developing paralytic polio.       

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Polio and the Polio vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.


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