The efficacy of DPT and oral poliomyelitis immunization schedules initiated from birth to 12 weeks of age

Bull World Health Organ. 1985;63(6):1151-69.


PIP: Infants should receive live trivalent oral poliovirus vaccine (TOPV) and DPT immunization as early in life as possible in order to minimize the time that they are at risk of contracting these vaccine-preventable diseases. Passively acquired circulating maternal antibodies provide protection in the 1st few weeks or months of life. Although these antibodies may modify or block the serum immune response during the 1st few weeks of life, the 1st or priming dose of DPT can be given effectively after 4 weeks of age. TOPV administered to infants during the 1st week of life results in intestinal infections and local immune responses in 50-100% of infants and serum antibody responses in 30-70% of infants. The serum antibody response following TOPV administration at 4-8 weeks of age is as effective as vaccine administered to older infants. The WHO Program on Immunization recommends initiating DPT and TOPV schedules at 6 weeks of age. In countries where poliomyelitis has not been controlled, TOPV should be given at birth, or at 1st contact with the health services, then at 6 weeks of age, followed by 2 additional doses 4 weeks apart. (author's)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Diphtheria Toxoid / administration & dosage*
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Drug Combinations / administration & dosage
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pertussis Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral / administration & dosage*
  • Tetanus Toxoid / administration & dosage*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Diphtheria Toxoid
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Drug Combinations
  • Pertussis Vaccine
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral
  • Tetanus Toxoid