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Updated interval recommendation for polio vaccine will not affect school requirement

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Immunization Branch

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Updated interval recommendation for polio vaccine will not affect school requirement

On August 7, 2009, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updated the recommendations for routine poliovirus vaccination. The official recommendation is currently found at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5830a3.htm.

This recommendation extends the interval between the 3rd and 4th dose from 4 weeks to 6 months. This will not affect school requirements. Below is an explanation of why this interval change should not affect school requirements.

  • For child-care/pre-k students, the 4th dose is not verified until entry into kindergarten.

  • Once a child enters kindergarten (or a higher grade level), there are several potential scenarios with regard to polio vaccine.  

1.)   The student has received 3 doses, all prior to 4 years of age. In this case, the student will need a 4th dose and the dose will be due prior to school entry since it will have been more than 6 months since the 3rd dose was received.

2.)   The student has received 3 or 4 doses with the last dose on or after the 4th birthday. In this case, the student is in compliance.

3.)   The student has received less than 3 doses. In this case, the student will only need 3 doses total because the last dose will be received after the 4th birthday.


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Last updated January 19, 2011