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Safety & Prevention

Why is polio still on the list of recommended vaccines when it has been eradicated in its natural form in nearly every country, including the United States, for years?

Although polio has been eliminated from most of the world, it has not been eliminated from the entire world. There are pockets of polio in India and parts of Africa.

The polio virus can live in the gut of vaccinated people so a person could travel and pick up the virus without being ill or aware that they are carrying the virus. The vaccine protects a person against the disease but the virus can still live in the gut and could come back to the United States with the traveler.

Children will continue to be vaccinated until polio has been eliminated from the entire world.


Last Updated
Immunizations & Infectious Diseases: An Informed Parent's Guide (Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics)
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