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OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine)

What is OPV and what are its side effects

Usually four doses of this polio vaccine are administered to the child: at two, three and four months and then again between three and five years. It is a very safe vaccine and the child rarely has any reactions following a dose. However, there is a 1 in 8.7 million risk of paralysis and a negligible risk that a susceptible member of the household might contract polio from an immunized child.

When should OPV not be given

Doctors should refrain from giving the live oral polio vaccine to children who have cancer, whose immune systems are weakened because they are ill or under medication. It is also not advisable for babies who live in a household where there is a person whose immune system is deficient. In such cases, it is advisable to administer an injectable, inactivated vaccine. 


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