2711 Poliomyelitis vaccine

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Oral polio vaccine (Sabin) contains attenuated live poliomyelitis viruses of all three poliovirus types. It is no longer recommended for routine vaccinations because in very rare cases it may cause poliomyelitis. The inactivated form of the vaccine (Salk), mostly in combinations with other vaccines (injection), is now preferred.

When there were outbreaks of poliovirus in Israel and Finland, mass oral polio vaccinations of the population, including pregnant women, were performed. Based on the observation of more than 15 000 pregnancies, there was no increased risk of spontaneous abortion and no increase in birth defects or prematurity (Harjulehto-Mervaala 1995, Ornoy 2006, 1993, 1990). The authors consider the oral poliovirus vaccine as safe for pregnant women; however, it should not be used in the last month of pregnancy, to avoid contamination of delivery rooms by the virus-shedding mother. Live attenuated poliovirus is no longer relevant as a result of practical extinction of the disease, at least in the developed world. Polio-like changes (damage to the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord) were noted in a fetus aborted at 21 weeks' gestation when the previously immune mother received oral polio vaccine at 18 weeks (Castleman 1964), but no similar effect has been published since.

Recommendation. Immunization with inactivated polio vaccine can be performed when compellingly indicated. There is no reason to terminate a pregnancy when polio vaccination (with inactivated or attenuated virus vaccine) has been administered to a pregnant woman.

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Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Guide

A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we ho pe you have already visited your doctor. Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself d uring pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have come to the right place.

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