Why are oral polio vaccines advantageous over the killed ones? I was told that the orally given polio vaccine prevents infection by causing intestinal immunity. How does it do that? Also, how does this make it superior over the intravenously injected polio vaccine?

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    $\begingroup$ What research have you done on your own to answer these questions yourself? For example, Google searches or even simply reading the Wikipedia pages for polio vaccine and intestinal immunity would give you a lot of information. The Biology.SE community has agreed that questions that show little or no prior research effort are off-topic on this site unless you have shown your attempt at an answer. Please edit your question and tell us where you've looked for answers, what you do know about the topic, and where exactly you still have questions. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Dec 22, 2016 at 1:19
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    $\begingroup$ There is a killed oral polio vaccine? $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2016 at 5:06
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    $\begingroup$ Just look up the 'cutter incident'. Use of OPV is more of a historical and silly reason than the IPV. For example, India after recent eradication of polio has started to switch from OPV to IPV. There are serious plausible risks of using OPV but was still used due to one cutter incident that tainted IPV $\endgroup$
    – Polisetty
    Jan 9, 2017 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ @polisetty thanks. For your reference. It did help. PS: irrelevant though I wanna say this :/ (don't blame me) I guess I know you! Vashishta polisetty? $\endgroup$
    – Harini
    Jan 9, 2017 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ @user129402 yup :) Hope I'd known you too.. only if you could give yourself a name :P $\endgroup$
    – Polisetty
    Jan 9, 2017 at 18:13

1 Answer 1

  1. Oral polio vaccines are delivered in the site of the potential infection. You may think about them as about a realistic simulation of the infection. As it is not scientifically sound explanation, please see the answer about whether intramuscular vaccination leads to intestinal IgA secretion which protects against intestinal route of infection.

  2. Oral polio vaccine (Sabina) contains attenuated (alive but weakened) polio virus, which can proliferate and compete in the environment with the really dangerous wild polio virus. That way also people which has not been directly vaccinated may be protected - both by development of immunity after less severe infection, and by reduction of exposure to the wild virus.

  3. The route of delivery is much more acceptable by children.


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