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MMWR Recomm Rep. 2000 May 9;49(RR-5):1-22; quiz CE1-7.

Poliomyelitis prevention in the United States. Updated recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

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  • 1Epidemiology and Surveillance Division.


These recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for poliomyelitis prevention replace those issued in 1997. As of January 1, 2000, ACIP recommends exclusive use of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) for routine childhood polio vaccination in the United States. All children should receive four doses of IPV at ages 2, 4, and 6-18 months and 4-6 years. Oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) should be used only in certain circumstances, which are detailed in these recommendations. Since 1979, the only indigenous cases of polio reported in the United States have been associated with the use of the live OPV. Until recently, the benefits of OPV use (i.e., intestinal immunity, secondary spread) outweighed the risk for vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP) (i.e., one case among 2.4 million vaccine doses distributed). In 1997, to decrease the risk for VAPP but maintain the benefits of OPV, ACIP recommended replacing the all-OPV schedule with a sequential schedule of IPV followed by OPV. Since 1997, the global polio eradication initiative has progressed rapidly, and the likelihood of poliovirus importation into the United States has decreased substantially. In addition, the sequential schedule has been well accepted. No declines in childhood immunization coverage were observed, despite the need for additional injections. On the basis of these data, ACIP recommended on June 17, 1999, an all-IPV schedule for routine childhood polio vaccination in the United States to eliminate the risk for VAPP. ACIP reaffirms its support for the global polio eradication initiative and the use of OPV as the only vaccine recommended to eradicate polio from the remaining countries where polio is endemic.

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