Polio Virus Information and Resources

The Student Health Center strongly encourages all students to receive vaccination against polio (poliomyelitis). Following the diagnosis of an active case of polio in Rockland County in July 2022, waste-water testing has revealed polio virus in samples in multiple New York State counties, including New York City.  With polio circulating in New York, it is imperative that students are protected.

How Do I Know If I’m Vaccinated?

In the United States, the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) is a core component of any childhood immunization schedule. Additionally, the New York State Department of Health requires proof of polio vaccination for all school-aged children. Many countries around the world have enacted similar policies. If you were born in the United States and have received your childhood vaccines and/or if you attended primary school in New York State, you are very likely to be fully vaccinated against polio.

If you remain unsure of your vaccination status, we encourage you to check with: 

  • Your primary care provider or pediatrician’s office
  • Your state's Immunization Information System

Being fully vaccinated against polio means having received four doses of vaccine as a child or three doses if vaccinated as an adult.

At this time, if you are fully vaccinated there is no recommendation to receive a booster dose for healthcare workers or community dwellers in New York City. 

The inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) uses inactivated (“killed”) virus that cannot replicate, transmit, or cause infection.  The IPV vaccine cannot give you polio or cause paralysis. It is safe and effective and causes only mild side effects, including soreness of the arm or leg at the injection site.

If you are unvaccinated or have not completed a polio vaccine series, you should get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

To access IPV, you may schedule a visit at the Student Health Center or with your personal primary care provider.

  • Adults who are unvaccinated, or uncertain if they have been fully vaccinated, should receive three doses:
    • The first dose at any time
    • The second dose 1 to 2 months later
    • The third dose 6 to 12 months after the second
  • Adults who have had one or two doses of polio vaccine (i.e. incompletely vaccinated) in the past should get the remaining one or two doses, irrespective of when they had earlier dose(s).