Inactivated Polio Vaccine (Imovax® Polio)

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What is polio?

  • The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles).
  • 2 doses of the vaccine are required by law for all children attending school in Ontario.

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What are the risks of the disease?

  • Measles is a serious viral infection that spreads very easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing and even talking.
  • It causes high fever, cough, rash, runny nose, and watery eyes, and can last for 1 - 2 weeks.
  • There is no treatment for measles.

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Why should my child be vaccinated?

  • Rubella is a viral infection that spreads easily by coughing, sneezing or talking with an infected person.
  • There is no treatment for rubella and while it’s usually mild in children it can be serious in women.
  • Rubella may cause fever, sore throat, swollen glands in the neck, and a rash on the face and neck.
  • If a woman gets rubella in the early part of a pregnancy, it is very likely that her baby in her womb will be severely affected, or even die.

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Who should not get the polio vaccine?

  • Rubella is a viral infection that spreads easily by coughing, sneezing or talking with an infected person.
  • There is no treatment for rubella and while it’s usually mild in children it can be serious in women.
  • Rubella may cause fever, sore throat, swollen glands in the neck, and a rash on the face and neck.
  • If a woman gets rubella in the early part of a pregnancy, it is very likely that her baby in her womb will be severely affected, or even die.

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Is the polio vaccine safe?

  • The MMR vaccine should be given to children soon after their first birthday and again at 4 - 6 years of age.
  • This second dose may be given in a combined vaccine with varicella (chickenpox), called MMRV.

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What if I decide not to vaccinate?

  • The vaccine is required by law (Immunization of School Pupils Act Amendment, 2014). Students who are not vaccinated may be suspended from school. Your child will be at risk of getting measles, mumps and rubella if you decide not to vaccinate.
  • Parents who choose not to vaccinate must complete a legal statement, known as a Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief (external PDF). This form must be notarized. There are some children who cannot get a vaccine for medical reasons. A doctor can fill out a medical exemption form. These forms must be brought to the Halton Region Health Department.

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Risk of polio vs. risk of vaccine

Risk of polio

  • Polio is very contagious and is easily spread from person to person.
  • Polio infections that have paralysis kill 2%-5% of children and 15%-30% of adults.
  • It can lead to total paralysis, respiratory failure and death.

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Risk of vaccine

  • Sore arm in up to 35% of people.
  • Fever in up to 20% of people.
  • Serious adverse event VERY rare.

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How can I prepare my child for vaccination?

  • Talk to your child about the vaccine.
  • Complete and return the consent form.
  • Review helpful ways to deal with fear or anxiety (count to ten, look away from needle, focus on breathing).
  • Make sure your child eats on clinic day.
  • Make sure your child wears a short sleeve shirt on clinic day.

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