What is polio?

Polio is a serious disease caused by the poliovirus that can cause permanent paralysis or even death. The only effective way to protect yourself against polio is to get immunized. There is no cure for polio.


What are the symptoms of polio?

75% who are infected will not experience any symptoms but can still spread the disease to others.

Approximately 25% will experience flu-like symptoms such as:

  • Fever 
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain

A small amount of people will experience the most severe symptoms of polio such as:

  • Meningitis
  • Severe muscle pains 
  • Stiffness in the neck and back
  • Paralysis 
  • Death

Is polio curable?

There is no cure for polio. The only protection is immunization.

Is polio contagious?

Yes. Polio is highly contagious and can spread rapidly in an unimmunized population.

How is polio spread?

The main way polio is spread is through contact with the fecal matter of an infected person. It can also be spread through contact with droplets from the sneeze or cough of an infected person, or via contact with a contaminated body of water.

How can I protect myself and my family from polio?

The only effective protection from polio is immunization. Everyone is encouraged to get immunized.

Who is most at risk of polio

  • Anyone not fully immunized - including children, adults, and pregnant women 
  • Infants
  • Immunocompromised Individuals
  • Children under 2 who have not completed their immunization schedule

Is polio immunization safe?

Yes. Polio immunization is not new. It has been in use for almost 70 years and is proven to be very effective. The use of immunization has almost completely eradicated polio worldwide.

What is the polio immunization process? How many doses do I need?

Unimmunized adults and children who did not receive their routine shots in the past, should receive 3 doses of the immunization, with one dose each at:

  • Immediately
  • 4-8 weeks after the first dose
  • 6-12 months after the second dose

People who have been fully immunized but will have contact with cases due to spread in their community or other potential exposures should consider a booster.

What if I am unsure if I have been immunized?

People who do not know if they have been immunized should contact their healthcare provider to determine their immunization status. If it still cannot be determined a booster should be considered.

What should I do if I suspect that I have polio?

Stay at home and away from other people, and call your healthcare provider.

What is post polio syndrome?

Post-polio syndrome is a condition that can affect polio survivors about 15 to 40 years after recovery from polio.  

Symptoms can include:

  • Slow progressive muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Loss of muscle function
  • Pain from joint degeneration and increasing skeletal deformities such as curvature of the spine (scoliosis) 

What is the routine childhood immunization process?

The routine childhood immunization schedule is as follows:

  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old
  • 6 through 18 months old
  • 4 through 6 years old

During an outbreak an accelerated routine childhood immunization schedule is recommended as follows:

  • 1 dose at age 6 weeks or older
  • a second dose 4 or more weeks after the first dose
  • a third dose 4 or more weeks after the second dose
  • a fourth dose 6 or more months after the third dose

Adults who have had 1 or 2 doses of polio vaccine in the past should get the remaining 1 or 2 doses. It does not matter how long it has been since the earlier dose(s)

Where can I get immunized?


Please call before arrival:


Rockland County Department Of Health 

Immunization Clinic 

50 Sanatorium Road, Building A, 2nd Floor

Pomona, NY 10970 

Tel: 845-238-1956

Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30am - 11:00am 

by appointment only: https://on.ny.gov/3R2Xo2v


Good Samaritan Hospital

257 Lafayette Ave, Suffern, NY 10901

Tel: 845-368-5000


CFH at New City

260 N Little Tor Rd New City, NY, 10956-2627

Tel: 845-999-3060


Hudson River Healthcare Spring Valley

2 Perlman Drive, Spring Valley, NY 10977-5245

Tel: 845-573-9860


Community Medical and Dental Care

40 Robert Pitt Drive

Monsey, NY 10952-3333

Tel: 845-352-6800

September Thursdays

10:00am – 1:00pm  

10 N. Madison Ave, Spring Valley 

(across from the post office)


Hudson River Healthcare Haverstraw

31 W Broad Street, Haverstraw, NY 10927-1615

Tel: 845-429-4499


MedRite Urgent Care

175 NY-59, Spring Valley, NY 10977

Tel: 845-694-8888


Monsey Health Center

40 Robert Pitt Drive, Monsey, NY 10952

Tel: 845-352-6800


Refuah Health Center New Square

728 N Main St, New Square, NY 10977

Tel: 845 -354-9300


Refuah Health Center Spring Valley

5 Twin Ave, Spring Valley 

Tel: (845) 354-9300


Cornerstone Family Healthcare

At Jawonio New City

260 N Little Tor Road 

New City, NY 10956-2627 

Tel: 845-999-3060


En Su Casa Primary Health Care

25 South Main Street, Suite E

Spring Valley, NY 10977

Tel: 845-499-5496


Rockland County Department of Health 

Spring Valley Clinic

14 South Main Street

Spring Valley, NY 10977

Tel: 845-364-2531

By appointment only for current patients.


Sun River Health Haverstraw

31 W Broad Street

Haverstraw, NY 10927-1615 

Tel: 845-429-4499


Sun River Health Spring  Valley

2 Perlman Drive

Spring Valley, NY 10977-5245 

Tel: 845-573-9860

View the infographics for more information